LAYTON -- Following a presentation given by City Engineer James Woodruff, city Councilman Scott Freitag could not resist.
"You've really shed some light on the situation," Freitag quipped.
Woodruff presented the city's plan to revise its lighting system during a city council work session.
"This is a great opportunity for us to provide a utility system in Layton city that would be very beneficial for the residents and pedestrians: to improve the lighting in Layton city," Woodruff said.
In the past, the city has relied on Rocky Mountain Power to provide service and street lighting to the city streets. After researching the process for installing street light poles, the staff discovered that the city is paying a high monthly price for the installation and maintenance of the street lights.
Officials feel that if the city has more control over the lighting system, it would result in a cost savings.
"Where we can save money, we can spend more money elsewhere and improve other aspects of the city through the funds we are saving here," said Mayor Steve Curtis.
The ordinance was passed unanimously by the council.
The ordinance sets guidelines on the type or design of the light poles depending on classification of the street, as well as changes who is responsible for paying for the poles in a new development.
The city has been responsible for paying for the installation of the poles, which it leases from Rocky Mountain Power. The new ordinance has the developers pay a fee for each street light pole within a proposed development.
No developers were present at Thursday's city council meeting to voice their opinion about the change. Woodruff said that he did have a meeting with several developers, and while some are not happy, there were no huge concerns.
The city will determine the size and look of the light poles on a per development basis. The fees paid by the developers will be based on type of pole required for the specific development.
Residential streets will be a single pole with a small decorative base saying "Layton City." Arterial streets will have a fluted single pole with a larger base with the city's name. All the poles will be black.
Downtown Main Street and Layton Parkway will continue with the new poles that have been recently introduced to the streets.
Along with cost savings, the new poles will have another effect on the city.
"It will also unify the city in a lot of ways, which isn't really done along the Wasatch Front," Curtis said. "Every subdivision will have the same kind of lighting."
Some existing poles, not of the new style, throughout the city need to be replaced, while others are still in good shape, Curtis said. The city will replace poles a section at a time, he said.
Cost savings from one section will be used to do another section, he said.
"That's important because we're not asking the people for any money, we're not taxing them any more, but we're improving the municipality as they know it," Curtis said.
The city also wants to improve the quality of the lighting.
"Right now there are some dark areas, and it's a problem, and we've tried to address it and Rocky Mountain Power has tried to address it as best they could," Curtis said. "But we feel that by having it under our own control we'll have a better control of maintaining those lights, while Rocky Mountain Power is spread out so thin that the maintenance isn't quite where we'd like it to be."
When the city begins owning and maintaining the new light poles, it will have more responsibility.
"We're ready for that accountability," Curtis said.