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Baxter Changing Regulations On Subdivision Lighting

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Baxter Changing Regulations On Subdivision Lighting

Changes in Baxter regulations will require subdivision developers to install their own streetlights, releasing the city from that responsibility.

Building Inspector and Codes Officer Bob Lane said the need for a change has arisen now that a handful of subdivisions are under construction. He said the city has been installing wooden streetlights and paying per-light through a deal with Upper Cumberland Electric. Lane said residents prefer a decorative fixture over the city’s standard wooden pole.

“Luckily, we’ve caught this before we got too deep in,” Lane said. “Right now, we’ve got two more subdivisions and they’ve already installed raceways and conduits to where they can install any kind of fixture they want to. Pole, decorative pole, whatever.”

Anywhere within city limits, Lane said residents expect to have viable outside lighting. He said no future developments would be approved if the developers did not agree to install lights.

Lane said Baxter will likely be responsible for paying the light bills once streetlights are installed, but he believes that will be a better deal than the current one. He said the LED lights that developers are likely to install have an extremely small load and the city would pay for usage rather than per fixture like it does now.

“It’s going to pull much less power,” Lane said. “We’ll only be paying for what we use, so I actually feel like it’s going to be a better deal for Baxter than putting an ordinary streetlight on a wood pole.”

Lane said one Baxter subdivision does not have lighting at all. He said residents of the neighborhood have been asking about getting lights installed, but do not want wooden poles in front yards. He said the city has been meeting with the power company to find a resolution. He said the lack of lighting makes driving more dangerous and diminishes the overall security of the area.

“Of course once one’s finished, you don’t want to go back in there trenching and digging and tearing everything up, so this need has arisen,” Lane said. “We’ve not had a lot of subdivisions in Baxter, but that’s not the case anymore.”

He said he is glad to have the future of this issue settled.


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