Some Ocean Shores customers are getting what they say are first-time bills for street lights that previously had not been charged to their Grays Harbor PUD accounts.
The PUD customers were notified by the utility that if they did not pay for the street lights by Dec. 8, the lights would be turned off.
“My neighbor just got a notice from PUD, and they said I would be getting one also, to pay for the electricity of a street light in front of our houses,” said one customer. Several residents questioned if the requests were legitimate and whether the payments should be made by the city and not individual residents.
PUD spokesman Ian Cope said the the PUD is currently “going through our inventory of street lights to determine who the responsible party is for billing purposes — the city or the property owner.”
“It has been a rather long process of examining all the lights served by the utility,” Cope said. In doing the streetlight inventory, the PUD’s Special Projects Manager works with city Public Works/Services to determine who is responsible for the light: the city or the property owner.
“If it is the city (meaning the light illuminates streets, sidewalks or public right of way), the city will be billed. If it benefits the property owner (lights a driveway, parking lot, yard, etc.), the property owner will receive a letter with the option of receiving the bill for the light or having it removed,” Cope said. Charges on one bill were $11.47 per month.