Surprise development in danger of losing streetlights

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SURPRISE – Hundreds of Valley homeowners could be in the dark come Monday.

The City of Surprise plans to shut off all the street lights in the Sierra Montana community unless residents pay to keep the lights on.

On Monday APS will turn off the neighborhood street lights if a petition, circulating for over a year, has not been signed and processed.

Kristin Farmer can't imagine what would happen without her neighborhood street lights. She tells 3TV, “There are a lot of kids, play ball. If lights are turned off…not going to see them."

Her home and 150 others in the Sierra Montana neighborhood are facing that reality because a necessary "district" was never created.

City Engineer Nick Mascia explains that it “needs a formal ‘slid’, which is a street light improvement district that taxes residents through property tax in order to pay for electricity to light the lights.

Why wasn't one created? City Engineer Mascia explains, “This site had a switch in property from one builder to the other and basically, over the years, it fell through the cracks."

Beezer, the home builder, has been paying the bills to APS over the past five to six years but the company is done building.

The city has been covering the cost for the past year, but that is coming to an end.

It has been a challenge gathering the necessary signatures from homeowners in the affected area because of foreclosures.

Jennifer Blair, who also lives in the community, says, “There are a lot of empty houses left in this neighborhood. We had a flyer on our door saying to keep the lights on, we must sign it. We haven't signed it yet but would like to."

I you would like to sign that petition Councilman John Williams will be meeting with other city leaders and volunteers at 9 a.m. Saturday inside the Loma Linda area within the Sierra Montana community. That home's address is 14941 North 175th Drive.