Tough Questions: Who's paying to keep the lights on? - WNEM TV 5

Tough Questions: Who's paying to keep the lights on?

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An Arenac County man wants some light shed on why some street lights aren't being equally paid for by subdivision property owners.

He contacted TV5 and requested we help him Ask the Tough Questions. 

"I'm not gonna stop, that's why I contacted you," said Floyd Bender, who claims there's a street light funding problem going on in Arenac County's Standish Township.  He says some people pay for the lighting while others don't. 

"It don't add up, the dollars, they're going to be short money," said Bender.

The issue came up three years ago when some property owners weren't assessed for street lighting.  Of the 177 property owners assessed for lighting costs, 15 property parcels didn't pay anything.  Bender owns one of them.  He did pay for several other parcels he owns, and he says that situation hasn't changed.

"Another property owner on the corner down here has a street light right in their front yard, the poles in their yard, they pay absolutely nothing for their house, haven't since it was created," said Bender.

Bender says he was assigned to a committee and it came up with the recommendation that the properties be assessed at a little more than $32 each.  He says he's been given the brush-off ever since.

TV5 wanted to Ask the Tough Questions of the township supervisor about the lighting assessment situation. We got a hold of him by telephone, and he had some very pointed remarks about our request.

When TV5's Craig McMorris asked Supervisor Bob North if we could do an on-camera interview regarding Bender's concerns, he said absolutely not.  When asked if we could receive responses over the phone regarding Bender's concerns, North said, "I have no response whatsoever to his concerns."

Bender says he's not surprised by North's responses. "That's why you're here, because I've been getting this all along," said Bender. "I'm asking the tough question, why don't they."

Bender adds he won't quit until the lighting assessment issue is resolved. "I'm not gonna stop until it does."

Bender says he's written letters to the governor and his state representative about the lighting assessment issue.  His says when Representative Joel Johnson asked board members about the issue, he was told it's been resolved.

If you have a tough question you want us to investigate, call 989-758-2044, email us at, or just get a hold of us on Facebook.

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