Cost to Keep Street Lights on Could Go up 300 Percent

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

The cost to make the street lights go on every night could skyrocket in the near future. Wisconsin Public Service has asked the Public Service Commission to authorize a 100 to 300 percent rate increase for municipal lighting.

WPS spokesperson Kelly Zagrzebski says the new rates are trying to "reflect the true cost of service."

The electricity rates are only going up 17 percent, but WPS has to install, maintain, and service every light pole.

George Peterson, the Public Works Administrator for the Village of Rothschild, says they can't turn the lights off, so that means the money will have to come out of another part of the budget or they will have to raise taxes.

Here's what area communities are paying to keep the lights on:

  • Wausau $333,500
  • Weston $150,000
  • Rothschild $65,000
  • Rib Mountain $45,000

The rate increase still needs to be approved by the Public Service Commission. If approved, they would go into affect in 2004.

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