The Town currently owns and operates approximately 700 street lights across Penfield. Most of these street lights are located at the intersections of main town, county and state roads within the town and along main roads such as Penfield Road, Five Mile Line Road, Browncroft Boulevard, and Empire Boulevard. Others are located within certain subdivisions in which the developer installed these lights as part of the development.
In August of 2001, the Town concluded negotiations with RG&E to purchase street lights from the utility. This was done in a cost-saving effort, to avoid paying ongoing lease rates on the lighting equipment and allow the flexibility of shopping for the best electric rates. Now that Penfield owns the lighting equipment, we purchase only electricity from a local supplier and we outsource required maintenance. This move has saved the town taxpayers many thousands of dollars and has allowed us to expand the system even further.
The Town of Penfield currently utilizes two (2) categories to define street lighting:
- Townwide Street Lighting District – The goal of this district is to increase the safety of the traveling public through the illumination of intersections. These intersections are defined as those of dedicated subdivision streets with main town, county roads, and/or state highways, as well as intersections of main town roads with county and state highways. Because this type of street lighting benefits the traveling public at large, the associated capital, operating, and maintenance costs shall be levied to all properties within Penfield, on an ad valorem basis.
- Intensified Street Lighting Districts – The goal of this type of lighting district is to allow for increased levels of roadway lighting, primarily along subdivision streets, or to provide thematic lighting within special improvement areas. Where intensified street lighting is installed within a subdivision development, the primary beneficiary of these improvements are those properties within the district, and therefore any debt, operation, and/or maintenance costs shall be levied uniformly to all those properties.
Street lighting improvements are being prioritized by the Town Board on an annual basis. These annual priorities are set using pending recommendations from county or state agencies, public input, and recommendations of the Transportation Committee and/or Town staff.
The Town Board and staff periodically update a list of intersections without street lighting, working toward the goal of providing street lighting at all intersections, as described under the Townwide Street Lighting District.
Townwide - From time to time the Town Board receives petitions from a resident or group of residents to have street lighting facilities installed at a particular location or intersection. On an annual basis, the Town Board reviews all requests and assigns a relative priority ranking for the location. Based on these annual priorities the Town staff arrange to have these street lights installed.
Intensified - If a group of residents or a neighborhood association wishes to have street lighting installed within their subdivision, they may petition the Town Board to establish an Intensified Lighting District for the purpose of providing intensified or thematic/decorative lighting within a specific improvement area. In this case, the neighborhood association would request that the Town Board have a plan and report prepared that outlines proposed district boundaries, lighting layout, the estimate of costs, debt service implications, and operating and maintenance costs. In this case, the property owners within the benefited area would pay for the cost of the improvements through a bond obtained through the Town. Town staff is available to assist in determining the financial impacts within the proposed district.