On Wednesday, January 15th, the Carolina Forest Sunrise Rotary Club was visited by Robert Sweet, a resident of Plantation Lakes. Mr. Sweet notes that his community and others in Carolina Forest are being charged excessively for rental of light poles. Santee Cooper, a state owned electric utility owns the poles and charges the HOAs for their rental. It starts as developers are approached by the utility to make a simple agreement to provide the poles. Since developers don’t want to be bothered with this detail, they have signed agreements to lease the light poles from Santee Cooper and then hand this lease onto the HOA when they have completed building.
For Plantation Lakes, Mr. Sweet calculates that the $6700/month or $80,000 a year that they pay has amounted to over $1,400,000 since the development began. This is more than double the cost of the light poles, in the first place. This arrangement apparently can’t be changed without an action by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Mr. Sweet has been working with State Representative Tim McGinnis to try to address this but he needs support from other neighborhoods.
The Carolina Forest Civic Association website has an section for “street light initiative.” You can read their section here: http://cf-ca.org/santee-cooper-street-light-initiative/
Please contact your community leader to add your support to this cause.