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Cornelius News

Assistant town manager illuminates street light procedures

March 16. By Dave Vieser. Based on our own observations as well as complaints from readers, street lights around Cornelius, particularly on major roads maintained by the state, leave something to be desired.


We found a link on the town web site to report street light outages: Go to cornelius.org, and click on “How Do I” on the tool bar, then look for Report on the left and click on Streetlight outage.

We decided to take a deeper dive with Assistant Town Manager Tyler Beardsley. Street lighting is complicated, as Beardsley explains:

Question: Who is responsible for maintaining the street lights on major roads such as West Catawba Avenue and Statesville Road?

Beardsley: It’s actually the utility companies that are responsible for streetlight maintenance, not the NCDOT. Depending upon where the lights are located, it would probably be either Energy United or Electricities.

Question: How about lights on more residential streets?

Beardsley: Similarly, it’s the utilities which maintain the street lights on town-maintained roads. The town pays a monthly bill for the maintenance and the costs associated with this monthly bill cover electricity and maintenance of the lights.

Question: What about street lights in subdivisions?

Beardsley: The utility companies do the maintenance work. If the subdivision streets are maintained by the town, complaints can be made by accessing the “street light outages” link on the town web site. In some cases, the community HOA has a separate procedure for submitting complaints so residents would need to check with their HOA.

Question: Who is responsible for deciding where the lights are located and how many are needed?

Beardsley: The Town has a streetlight policy for Town maintained roads that has guidelines for distances between lights.  The Town works with developers and the utility company to ensure that lights comply with the policy. DOT has a separate policy for their roads.

Question: What is the process if more lights are deemed to be needed?

Beardsley: For local roads, the Town will usually  receive a request from an HOA or a private resident. The Town then will work with the utility company and the HOA on the locations of the new lights. If an HOA is involved, the cost is typically split between the HOA and the Town.

Question: Are builders such as WIN Development at Alexander Farm responsible for installing new street lights on parts of the main roads such as Westmoreland?

Beardsley: Developers are only required to provide lighting if they are building a new road or modifying an existing road at a point where no lights previously existed.

If you’re in doubt, it’s best to call the town at 704-892-6031. Beardsley says he is happy to help.

Lights are on, but not the right color

Duke Energy serves The Peninsula, where the color of some replacement lights—whiter LED bulbs—has been a concern. They don’t match the original Moonglow bulbs which are warmer.

Indeed, there is an ongoing shift to LED products and a nearly complete phase-out of incandescent lighting products.

It turns out the lights in The Peninsula will eventually switch over to the brighter LEDs.