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Garden Grove : City May Look Into Street Light Billing

The City Council today will consider creating a committee to study street lighting and to investigate whether the city is paying Southern California Edison Co. twice for some street lights.

Councilman Bruce A. Broadwater, who is pushing for the panel formation, said the committee also will look into complaints that some residents are paying more for their street lights than others.

In addition, Broadwater said, the committee could recommend that the city conduct an audit to determine how much the city has lost to double billing over the years and how the money could be recovered.

“If we need an outside auditing firm to do it, we’ll do it rather than in-house,” Broadwater said.

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Former Councilman Ray Littrell said during a meeting last week that the city may be paying for some street lights two times--one on a flat rate and another on a metered rate. He added that the city could also be paying for street lights located outside the city.

Brad Martin, area manager of Southern California Edison Co., said the electric company is investigating the reports of double billing, but he said that only about nine street lights on Main Street and Garden Grove Boulevard may be involved.

He said the street lights appear on Edison maps as without meters. However, he said he is certain those street lights have meters. The city has paid $936 a year for the lights on a flat rate and $1,440 on the metered rate, he said.

Martin said he could not determine how long the double billing has been going on or how much the city has been overbilled.

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“We will negotiate a settlement with the city,” Martin said. “It’s the only thing we can do.”


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