The Prairie Township Board of Trustees approved spending tax dollars to purchase 16 street lights along a strip of South Grener Avenue.

The Prairie Township Board of Trustees approved spending tax dollars to purchase 16 street lights along a strip of South Grener Avenue.

The board estimates that it will cost about $2,200 annually for the lights that will help illuminate a high volume walking path and busy road to Stiles Elementary School. The approval of the lights came at the trustees Sept. 23 board meeting.

The board of trustees said it believes that street lights installed and assessed through lighting districts is the fairest, most efficient way to provide lighting service to residents of the township. Earlier this year, however, the board made the decision that it could use general tax dollars for lights if there are special circumstances.

Those circumstances include a situation where public safety is determined to be seriously compromised because of the lack of a street light. The board decided that this was the case along a stretch of South Grener Avenue where a school is located, and that serves as a connector street for Sullivant Avenue and West Broad Street.

"It will cost $2,200 for a strip that has a school on it that includes a pedestrian bridge," trustee Nicole Schlosser said. "If any street meets those criteria, this one does."

Township administrator Tracy Hatmaker said he expects the money to come from the general fund.

Resident Neil Distelhorst asked why that money shouldn't come out of the road department's budget.

Hatmaker said he recommended using general fund money because there was more money to work with.

"The uses out of the general fund is broader," he said. "We could research what funds could be used to pay for it. None have the extra money. If you feel it is more logical, we can look into it."

Trustee Steve Kennedy said he had no issues using the money, but thought it best for the township to do the legal research into the possibility of using funds from the road department budget.

"I think it makes sense to pull the money out of the road funds," Kennedy said. "However we need clarification. I think this is a wise use of township funds."

In other township matters, trustees said any resident interested in getting an update on Ohio American Water and its rate increase is welcome to attend a meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Prairie Township fire station, 451 Hubbard Road.

Trustees also scheduled Beggars Night to coincide with Hilliard's. Trick-or-treating in Prairie Township will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29.

Csmithwestside@aol.com