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The City Commission may also provide street lighting, and provide for the method and assessment and payment of all or part of the cost of any such improvement and/or energy and maintenance by levying and collecting special assessments for other specially designated areas, as follows:
(A) A resident, registered elector of any lot, parcel or tract of land within the city, not served by street lighting, may apply to the City Clerk to designate a new area for street lighting, which area shall include the applicant's lot, parcel or tract. The size of the new area shall be determined by considering economy of operation above other considerations.
(B) Upon designation of the new area to be benefited, the Clerk shall provide the applicant with a petition form containing a place for the signatures of all resident, registered electors within the area and the addresses of the resident, registered electors. The petition shall state its purpose at the top. The applicant shall be responsible for obtaining the required consent, signature and information from at least 50% plus one of the resident, registered electors within the area.
(C) Upon receiving the completed petition, the Clerk shall verify that it contains the required information and number of signatures, and shall then cause an election of all record title owners as of January 1, of the year application was made within the defined area.
(D) A two-thirds majority of all votes in an area proposed to be included in the a district in favor of the establishment of the lighting district shall cause its creation. Assessments and operations of the new district shall proceed as provided herein.
(E) Any individual record title owner within the city may apply to be included in the lighting district. The total cost of providing the lighting, including installation and administrative costs, shall be initially assessed against the record title owner.
(1) After the street lighting has been approved and the total cost thereof ascertained, the City Commission shall proceed by resolution to levy special assessments against the property within the area comprising the lighting district. The total amount specially assessed against the specially benefited property shall not exceed the cost designated to be assessed in the resolution provided in division (c) hereof, and in no event will the total amount of the special assessment exceed such special benefit. The special assessment shall be due and payable and shall draw interest from such date as the City Commission shall provide in the resolution. All special assessments shall be due and payable as the City Commission shall provide by resolution and shall be legal, valid and binding first liens upon the property until paid. If the liens are not paid when due, there shall be added a penalty at the statutory rate per month, until paid.
(2) The method of assessment shall be as provided by F.S. Ch. 170 or 197 on a parcel basis, or any other equitable basis for each lot, tract or parcel to include residential, commercial and institutional usage of the property to be assessed, served and specially benefited. Each lot, tract, parcel or unit within the district shall be deemed to be specially benefited by those street lights which form a part of the street lighting plan within the district. No exemption from assessment shall be authorized, including but not limited to homesteads, schools or educational, benevolent, fraternal, scientific institutions, religious, non-profit or charitable organizations. All municipal facilities shall be specifically exempted from assessment.
(3) The initial special assessments levied by the City Commission as well as continuing annual/monthly special assessments provided for herein, shall be due and payable as specified in the resolution. Upon the failure of any property owner to pay any annual installment due or any part thereof of any annual interest on a deferred payment, the City Commission shall cause to be brought the necessary legal proceedings to enforce payment thereof, with all accrued interest and penalties, together with all legal costs incurred, including a reasonable attorney's fee to be assessed as part of the costs in the event of default in payment of any installment or an assessment or any accrued interest on said assessment, the whole assessment with the interest and penalties thereon shall immediately become due and payable and subject to foreclosure. Special assessments shall remain liens, co-equal with the liens of all state, county, district and municipal taxes, superior in dignity to all other liens, titles and claims until paid.
(4) The district may establish an interim assessment in order to commence immediate service or delay commencement until the first budget year after approval.
(F) For utility customers, the street lighting fee shall be shown as a separate line item in a consolidated monthly utility bill that is generally paid by a single payment. In the event a partial payment is received, the payment shall first be applied to garbage, next applied to stormwater, next applied to lighting, next applied to sewer and finally applied to water.
(Ord. 544, passed 5-2-91; Am. Ord. 1001, passed 11-2-00)