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Lighting distict may be created on Canton’s Riverside Drive

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CANTON - Ronald J. Scott hopes installing a few lights on a dark section of Riverside Drive will help slow down traffic and make it safer for evening walkers.

With support from several neighbors, Mr. Scott submitted a petition asking the Canton Town Board to create a new lighting district on Riverside Drive just outside the village limits where he resides.

“The lighting stops abruptly at the top of the hill,” Mr. Scott said. “There’s quite a few homes beyond that. There’s concern about the speed and the pitch blackness in that area.”

Town councilmen on Monday agreed to set a public hearing for 5 p.m. July 9 to decide whether to proceed with a new lighting district. Approval would allow lights to be installed on a short section of Riverside Drive just beyond village limits.

The proposed district would begin at the town and village border and extend northward about .2 miles to St. Mary’s Cemetery. The plan is to install five lights, three on the west side of the road and two on the east. Each light costs $163.

Mr. Scott said an Amish family has moved to Sykes Road and often travels by horse and buggy down Riverside Drive. Also, many people access the Partridge Run bikepath from the Riverside Drive entrance and students from SUNY Canton frequently walk down that section of road.

“After it was repaved the speed picked up considerably,” Mr. Scott said, noting the road is also a popular route for motorcyclists.

As required to prompt a public hearing, Mr. Scott obtained enough signatures to represent more than 50 percent of the assessed property valuation within the proposed district.

Eight of the 14 property owners signed the petition in support of the new lighting district.

If the district is approved, all property owners within the designated area would be charged an extra lighting fee. The yearly fee would be a separate item on their town/county tax bill. The amount will vary based on property value, with higher assessments charged a larger fee.

Based on existing assessments, Mr. Scott said the fee would range from $4 to $120 per year for property owners within the district, with the average homeowner paying about $75. Several years ago, the town created a special lighting district in the hamlet of Morley.

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