A neighbor recently asked us about the process for adding streetlights in neighborhoods that don't have them. Here's what the County says:
"Sacramento County does not provide funding for the installation of new street light systems. In newly developing areas, street lights are installed by developers as a condition of approval of their development. In developed areas without lights, street lights may be installed by homeowners or business groups through formation of an assessment district, or by hiring an electrical contractor to install County standard lights under a County encroachment permit. Other agencies may fund the installation of lights."
As a developed area, our community's only options are:
- Seek help from SMUD for safety lights -- on SMUD poles at major intersections if the County agrees and if funds are available
- Seek help from SMUD for night lights -- on SMUD poles on private property, billed to the property owner
- New property tax assessment -- join with other businesses or other homeowners, such as through annexation to County Service Area 1
The City of Rancho Cordova has been upgrading itself since incorporating several years ago. It has had some streetlight success sponsoring the County Service Area approach. Rancho Cordova also has a program to install better, less expensive street lights throughout the City, with low-interest loan funds from the California Energy Commission. These are examples of how cities can facilitate improvement of their neighborhoods.