Street Lighting Costs Discussed by Macomb Township Officials

by BRYAN EVERSON

There was little argument at the Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 21 regarding the need of street lights surrounding Heydenreich, but who will foot the bill for them is another issue.

Township Engineer James VanTiflin came back with information to present to the board for the request of the lights that would run a two-mile stretch of Heydenreich from Hall Road to 22 Mile, and the same distance of 21 Mile from Card to Romeo Plank.

VanTiflin informed the board that 87 lights would be installed as part of the schematic for the project.

“There are existing utility poles along the entire stretch we requested the street lights,” VanTiflin said. “There are some utility poles that have other facilities on them that won’t allow, but the vast majority of the utility poles are in the condition that they can allow lights. These are the mast-arm lights with the LED head on it that goes over the street and shines down [on it].”

He clarified that while a concern sometimes with these can be the light pollution for residents that live along the path of the road, but that all these lights can be shielded if necessary, so it would direct the light toward the road and sidewalks, not to the residents behind.

The total cost of the project $116,042. DTE gives three years worth of credit on the lamp charges as their contribution towards the cost of the project, amounting to $43,146. The initial construction cost would be $42,896.59. Furthermore, the Township would be responsible for the lamp charges — electrical cost, maintenance of lights —  that would total an estimate of $14,082 per year.

Trustee Roger Krzeminski reminded the audience that the street lights are a small part of a bigger picture, and that “a lot of puzzle pieces have to come together,” including sidewalks, the state police report, and additional meetings with the school.

And then, where the money is coming from.

“The problem is, when we assess somebody within the Township, we try to assess everyone for the lights and everything else,” Krzeminski said. “Now, we have a school district — we have five school districts within the township — so what I do for one, I have to do for another.”

“All of a sudden, I have children bused in from other places that are coming to some of these schools. How do I assess them for these lights? Because this charge is going to go on for 100 years, whatever it’s going to be.”

He went on to say that while the board is trying, “this thing’s not going to be done tomorrow. and we understand that,” and that he would personally like to see the Chippewa Valley School District “step up and say something.”

Negotiations apparently will go forward for the street lights, though the issue of where the money will come from is still yet to be determined. A special meeting is scheduled to take place one hour before the regularly schedule board meeting on Jan. 11 on the subject.

Clerk Kristi Pozzi informed those in attendance that the Macomb County Dept. of Roads reviewed the area and had a discussion with the Transportation Improvement Association (TIA) of Michigan and state police, the latter of which are finalizing the paperwork, and no reports are available as of yet.

In addition, Pozzi communicated that a meeting was held Dec. 14 at Dakota High School with school administration and other officials that included those from the TIA, and traffic concerns were discussed. A traffic study will be taking place to collect data, and a public information and enforcement initiative was also suggested, one that could involve various state, county, and local agencies, in addition to the school district.

Also, a motion to purchase a $10,340 traffic solution device was passed unanimously that could be parked at a school or another location where drivers are speeding. It wold be a portable sign that could take pictures of license plates with technology within that could allow for issuing tickets to those detected as speeding by the device.