Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Montgomery may be brighter

Renewed streetlight program popular

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MONTGOMERY — A rekindled program to assist neighborhood installation of street lights has sparked interest from three subdivisions — and more is predicted.

        The city restarted a program, discontinued about a year ago, that permits property owners to be assessed for decorative street lamp installation over five years, said City Manager Cheryl Hilvert.

        The city is offering two types of sodium lights — the most popular being replica gas street lamps that cost about $2,500 each plus an installation charge that Cinergy has not yet determined, Mrs. Hilvert said.

        The program does not affect a city policy of providing, on request, utility-pole-mounted lights similar to those used on main thoroughfares. Those are available and installed at no cost to homeowners unless additional wiring or pole installations are required, officials said.

        Miguel Garcia is leading the push for replica gas lamps in the Weller Station development off Weller Road.

        “Many of the streets in Montgomery are dark, and I'm interested in having lights because they benefit neighborhoods. They provide security, improve property values and look good,” Mr. Garcia said.

        “In winter, it's dark when the kids go to be picked up by the school bus. When I moved to Montgomery from Kenwood a year ago, I really noticed the lack of street lights. So, I started polling my neighbors.”

        Mrs. Hilvert said 65 percent of property owners in a neighborhood must sign a petition requesting the lights and they must be willing to pay for them by assessment. Then, 65 percent of the homeowners on whose properties the lights would front also are required to file a petition requesting the lamps.

        Mr. Garcia said he is optimistic Weller Station will approve lamps, with an informal survey showing 60 percent of residents in favor. Most of the other homeowners remain undecided until questions about location, design choice and other issues are resolved.

        Representatives of Indian Woods and Weller Woods subdivisions — both near Weller Station — also have expressed interest.


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