City officials will continue to talk with West Houghton residents about potentially installing street lights in the neighborhood. The city had recently received survey responses from residents in the area at its last council meeting. Some residents in attendance pointed out that residents walking in the evening and early morning hours tend to enjoy the ambiance during those times and asked the council to consider getting residents in the neighborhood more involved with discussions around street lights.
“The light installation will be an irreversible path. So it would seem the onus is on the council to give validity as to why this is suddenly a concern. So I hope you will decide not to do the lighting or at the very least take more time to investigate. I did ask one resident, who voted yes on this, as I was out yesterday. And he said well if it had been located on my lot I would have voted no.” – Jill Johnson, west Houghton Resident
In the city’s initial survey, a proposed street light ma was included. City Manager Eric Waara says that those potential locations are likely to change, as the sites located on the map were selected for proximity to existing electricity infrastructure. Councilor Mike Needham encouraged residents to reach out to the city to express concern and desires for street lighting in West Houghton neighborhoods.
“I think it’ll give passionate people in the neighborhoods more time to talk with their neighbors. Which they didn’t necessarily get this time, we threw this out there, and a lot of people filled it out and returned it right away. So I think we should talk about the benefits of doing that. Of giving the neighborhood more of a chance to talk to each other about it. Because I feel like only a little bit of that happened. Because that’s more powerful than us sitting here, and having an opinion about their neighborhood. They should be able to talk among themselves.” – Mike Needham, Councilor, City of Houghton
Houghton will table actions on west Houghton street lights until the first regular council meeting in February. Until then councilors and the city will discuss potential street lighting with residents in the area. The city council additionally appointed Tim Scarlett to the Portage Lake District library board. He will sit on the library board of trustees for a term ending in 2026.