Monday, December 11, 2006

Street-light replacement responsibility split

BURNT OUT STREET LIGHTS: My street light is out, but when I called it in I was told by Utilities that there are hundreds out. When are they going to fix them?
- Carol M.

ANSWER: We have received e-mails from across the city complaining about street-light problems and several poles that have been hit but not repaired.
This has been an ongoing and touchy problem, and there is no immediate answer. Probably the best advice is to contact your City Council representative.
City Council passed the responsibility for street lights from the city to Colorado Springs Utilities, and a street-light fee was added to utilities bills.
There was an outcry and the fee was discontinued. Council directed that the city take the street light program back from Utilities, according to Utilities spokesman Steve Berry. The money for street lights is to come from the city’s general fund with Utilities doing maintenance.

However, Berry said, during this entire procedure there was no money allotted for the backlog of street-light repairs because of "a lack of funding."
He said Utilities is trying to work out a service-level agreement with the city. Meanwhile, Utilities and police and emergency services determine which lights are a public safety requirement and these are added or repaired immediately. Others must wait for city funding.


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