Vidette is paying more to keep the lights on than the city is collecting in fees.
The City Council addressed the issue October 26. Currently, 31 property owners connected to city water and one property owner with a well are footing the entire bill, paying $12 per month. Three churches are exempt from contributing. Last month, the city’s light bill increased from $330 to $556.
“How can you make the people who own wells, pay it?” asked Councilman Robert Peel and suggested that the City turn the lights off so people will see how dark it is without them.
City Attorney Chris Dube advised the council to adopt an ordinance that requires all property owners and churches to pay their fair share. Resident Michael Wood argued that some residents can’t afford the monthly charge.
“You have people in this town who are below poverty who live in Vidette that do not have the funds to pay $12 per month, believe it or not,” he said. “Some people in this town don’t have any money period.”
However, Peel pointed out that the poorest people he knew in Vidette are already paying the street light fee that is included on their water bill.