Town of Essex working to clear backlog of street light repairs

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The Town of Essex is experiencing a backlog of street lights that are in need of repair. 

Mayor Sherry Bondy says in 2023 council noted an increase in resident complaints, and are working with town officials and E.L.K. Energy, the utility that services the lights, to address the issue.

Bondy also serves as chair on E.L.K. Energy Inc's Board of Directors. 

"One of the hurdles that we're coming across is that when we order new street lights, there is a delay in receiving the part six to 12 months. So we are aware that there are multiple street lights out in our town, but we have a plan in place and a solution is coming."

Bondy says there are currently 80 outstanding work orders scattered throughout the municipality. 

She says some of the lights do need extra parts, further complicating things.

"We are lucky that E.L.K. has the partnership with Entegrus, because Entegrus is giving us 50 street lights, so we should see a fast turnaround in February and March for some of these street lights, so that partnership we're really valuing. And then we are going to order more and so that this won't happen again."

Bondy says residents will soon be able to view a street light map online and it will also display lights that have already been reported.

She says the town continues to work on the street light conversion program, which converts all lights to LED luminaries.

"We're really seeing a cost savings in our utility bills. So that's something we're still working on. We hope to have it completely done in 2024, and people will see a different type of light on your street if you haven't already."

Bondy says the town and E.L.K. will sign a service level agreement to define responsibilities for street light work moving forward.