Streetlight saga: Adding lights to your community

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Families across Tampa Bay have reached out to 8 On Your Side to find out how they can make dangerous intersections less problematic.

We reached out to each of the 10 counties in the area to find out what steps residents can take to light up the sidewalks and roadways in their neighborhoods.

Only five of those counties responded, so far.

While the process can be complicated, many of Tampa Bay’s 10 surrounding counties have similar processes.

Typically, an application requesting the creation of a new streetlight district would need to be submitted to the county. Then, most counties send an engineer to the area or neighborhood to determine if there are safety issues or infrastructure problems that would be solved with a streetlight.

Residents would have to petition with more than 50 percent agreeing to take on the additional costs added to their annual taxes for the light or lights.

The number is higher in Polk County, requiring at least 70 percent of its residents to petition, according to County Real Estate Administrator Wade Allen.

So how frequently are street lights added to a county? Last year, Manatee County added just one in Samoset where 70 lights were installed. 

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