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|Road lighting districts on October ballot|
The Ouachita Parish Police Jury signed off on a number of road lighting district propositions to be placed on the Oct. 17 ballot.
Police jurors acted on the matter at their regular meeting Monday.
Jurors also introduced an ordinance creating a road lighting district at Fiddlers Creek.
Voters living in the following subdivisions will decide in October on the proposed road lighting districts: Casa Linda, Briarcliff, Standard Reed, Hamilton Park, Parkwood II, Westlakes, Lake Village, Country Estate West, Lincoln Park, Garden Park, Audubon Park, North Monroe, Milhaven, Charmingdale, Tanglewood, and Davenport.
For months, the police jury asked neighborhoods interested in establishing new road lighting districts to contact parish officials.
Several parish officials have said that one of the biggest concerns among residents in the proposed road lighting districts was cost.
The cost will vary depending on several factors, including the number of lights, the number of taxpayers in the district and whether the electrical utilities are overhead or buried.
In general, for a lighting district with overhead utilities, the cost per taxpayer would be roughly $35 annually. For buried utilities, the cost would be around $70 per year.
Voters in Ouachita Parish's existing road lighting districts also will be asked Oct. 17 to approve a change in the method they utilize to pay for road lighting service.
The reason behind the proposed change is due to problems with collections in some districts in the parish. The proposed changes in billing would take care of those issues, parish attorney Jay Mitchell said.
Currently, fees are collected by the police jury, which sends bills to residents living in the road lighting districts. Any unpaid accounts must be resolved through the state district court system.
If voters approve the changes, road lighting fees will be placed on the property owner's tax bill, which is collected by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office.
If a property owner does not pay his or her property taxes, the property could be seized by the sheriff and sold at auction.