New street light policy could cut costs in Chesterfield

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – People in Chesterfield may soon have to fork over money to keep street lights on. Right now the county is spending more than half-a-million dollars just on maintaining the lamps. County leaders say a policy change could keep those costs from skyrocketing.

Basically- the county will pay to maintain street lights posted at intersections. But if you want them anywhere else- maybe several down one street- you and your neighborhood association will have to pay for the installation and the up keep.

Tonight- 4,000 lights will spotlight Chesterfield County, just not in Ekaterina Castillo's neighborhood.

"Oh just down here coming in off from Osbourne there's no street lights there so you can't see," she said.

Her new home has everything she was looking for--- but her community lacks light.

"The kids come out and play basketball on the courts, and it's kind of hard to see them when you're driving at night," Castillo said.

She's hoping if the county saves money maintaining street lights there may be money to put one along her street. County engineers just completed a study. This year the county is spending $644,000 on street light maintenance. In six years it will double. In 10 years, operations will cost 1.3-million dollars.

A policy change would limit the lamp styles and locations. If the policy is approved, fancy lights would no longer be installed; they're too expensive to operate. And the county would no longer pay to maintain new lights along a road - intersections only.

"I don't think the county needs fancy lights. We just need regular street lights," said Carolyn Kearns.

Carolyn Kearns supports the policy change which would only allow a colonial style or the standard street lamp.

"There's a bunch of different types and I don't understand why. I think they should all be uniform," she said.

And per the policy developers and community associations would pay for the installation of new lights along with a fee for operational costs. The policy change would also improve energy efficiency and reduce light pollution. To read all of the proposed policy changes click here.

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