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Lexington Raises Utility Franchise Fees

AA Roads

Beginning this fall, utility customers in Lexington can expect slightly higher bills. 

For months, Lexington’s Council has wrestled over the best way to pay for street lights.  Administrators say the property tax does not generate enough revenue for maintenance and new lights.  So, Council has opted for a one percent increase in franchise fees.  The fee is levied on the providers of electricity and natural gas…who will likely pass that cost onto consumers. 

Finance Commissioner Bill Omara says it will generate about $4 million dollars a year. For a household with electric and natural gas bills of $200 dollars, Omara says it would amount to a two dollar a month increase.

“There are street lights that are used by all people in Fayette County and common areas such as main arteries, New Circle Road, that type of thing, and those would become the obligation of the general fund because they are seen as public safety issues.  The whole street light program is basically a public safety issue.”  --Bill Omara

The higher fee becomes effective in October.  Omara says the property tax rate for street cleaning will also see a slight increase.

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