David's Blog

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Shining Light on the Street Lighting Fee

Late last month, the Chamber learned the City of Duluth intended to increase its Street Lighting Utility Fee. The proposed fee would increase the current monthly charge of $3.50 to a monthly charge of: $17 for small commercial buildings, $51 for medium sized commercial buildings, and $102 for large commercial and industrial buildings.

Upon learning of this proposed fee increase, the Chamber immediately challenged Mayor Ness' administration to either forego the increase or delay it's implementation. We believe the business community deserves, at minimum, to understand the rationale for the increase prior to being compelled to pay it. We also believe the City's administration should fully understand the negative ramifications that such an increase would have on the business community. A fee increase may prove to be a disincentive for businesses to operate in our beloved city. The proposed fee would appear to clearly be at odds with our mutual goal to boost economic development within Duluth's city limits; as our neighboring communities do not charge their citizens a street lighting utility fee.

I applaud Mayor Ness and his chief administrative officer, David Montgomery, for listening to our appeal. They withdrew the proposed fee increase from the planned vote scheduled to occur at the City Council meeting last week. The council's vote on the fee is now planned for Monday, January 24, 2011.

This delay provides us an opportunity to learn more about the street lighting utility fee. Let us make the most of this brief respite prior to the council taking action on the proposed fee increase.

David Montgomery will be our guest at our Chamber FORVM scheduled for:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Play Ground Theatre
Technology Village (Superior Street Level)
11 East Superior Street

The FORVM will focus on the fee and the city's strategy for dealing with the financial challenges it will face in 2011. The FORVM may be your one chance to engage in a discussion with David Montgomery regarding the city's fees and finances.

Have your voice heard. Join us at the FORVM.

In support,

posted by David Ross at


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