The City of Wauwatosa is gradually replacing its old street lights with spun aluminum poles and cobra style fixtures with LED bulbs. The WHHPC is pursuing its mission by seeking to provide a better and more historically accurate option for the neighborhood to consider. We have been working on this project for over a decade. The recent decreases in the cost of LED lights has made this project financially viable within the last few years.
Every year since 2009, the WHHPC has described the street light project in a detailed presentation given at the Washington Homes Association (WHA) annual meeting. Since 2015, we have also mentioned the street light project in our annual appeal that is sent out to all Highlands residents by the WHA Board.
The WHHPC’s proposal was approved by the common council in early August to move forward. The streetlight project will be addressed at a public hearing on October 2 and residents will be notified by mail of this upcoming hearing. This preliminary approval only means they are willing to consider this special project and allow this work to be performed in the coming months. This project has not yet been approved and you are encouraged to attend.
To help our alderman prepare for this meeting, please go to the WHA website at http://washingtonhighlands.org and scroll down below the picture and take a survey (you will be required to login to vote; one per e-mail address). The final Common Council vote will take place on October 16. Here is a summary of what will happen based on the vote.
If the Common Council votes “NO”
- In 7-9 years the Highlands will have the street repairs/paving done. An assessment will be levied for this work and the streetlights will be replaced as part of that project.
- These would consist of a spun aluminum pole and non-historically accurate fixture (picture below)
- The new streetlights would not be part of this assessment as they are covered in the general budget.
If the Common Council votes “YES”
- New historically accurate, energy-efficient fixtures will be installed (picture below)
- Existing concrete poles will remain
- Net cost to Highlands residents is approximately $830 per household, levied with a special tax assessment. Assessment can be funded over 5 years at a nominal interest rate
- When street paving is done in 7-9 years, a second assessment will be levied for that work. No credit/decrease on that assessment would be given for not having new lights installed.
This scope of the project is the entire neighborhood, including the Highlands side of Lloyd, 60th and 68th Streets, and Milwaukee Ave.