NEWS RELEASE   6/13/2012

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Flint, Michigan—June 13, 2012— Flint city officials will hold a second public hearing on the proposed street lighting assessment district; the hearing was announced to property owners via mail last week. The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 5:30pm in the City Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall.

As part of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, the nearly $3 million cost of Flint’s street lighting operation and its effect on the General Fund was considered. Under current financial conditions, the City of Flint cannot continue to provide street lighting without a significant reduction to other services, including police and fire. For this reason a special assessment for street lighting is necessary. The assessment will go directly and solely
to expenses of the operation, maintenance and eventual upgrade of the City’s street lighting system.

In conjunction with the updating of the City’s Master Plan, city officials will be working with Consumers Energy on reviewing the adequacy of the street lighting system and seeking ways to improve it. This will include the replacement of mercury vapor lights with high pressure sodium lights that will result in lower energy costs to the City.

The tentative fee for the street lighting assessment will be $74.22 per parcel, a change of $12.22 from the $62 estimate announced in the initial notices. According to city officials, the reason for the change is a reduction in the number of parcels upon which a special assessment can be levied.
State law provides exemption from special assessments on parcels owned by land
banks and governmental entities. The effect of this exemption is a reduction in the number of parcels upon which the assessment could be levied from an initially projected 57,104 to 47,999. The estimated cost of the street light operation for the budget year beginning July 1, 2012 is $2,850,000.
While not required by law, the City of Flint considers providing street lighting as an important part of public safety; well lit streets reduce crime, the fear of crime and auto accidents resulting from poor visibility. Having well lit streets and sidewalks makes traveling at night safer and helps police and residents keep a look out for criminal activity. The result is an overall improvement in the quality of life for Flint residents.

After evaluating the comments received at this public hearing, Emergency Manager
Michael K. Brown will determine if a special assessment district is to be created, and if so, what will be the amount of the assessment. That assessment would then be added to the summer tax bill.

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