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Former Wallingford town councilor urges more frequent street light checks

WALLINGFORD — A resident who has been regularly reporting to Electric Division and Town Council on street lights that aren’t working is suggesting that the police routinely perform checks.

At Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting Geno Zandri, former town councilor, reported that 14 street lights are out along Center Street.

About two years ago, Zandri began checking his neighborhood for malfunctioning lights and making reports to the Electric Division on a regular basis. The point of also reporting them to the council, Zandri said, is to emphasize that the town should routinely check for malfunctioning lights. Zandri feels the police department should perform the checks at night when officers aren’t busy.

“Street lights are a public safety issue,” he said.

Periodically, the police department does report outages to the Electric Division, Public Utilities Director George Adair said. With just over 4,000 street lights managed by the Electric Division in Wallingford and Northford, the department relies on reports from citizens, Adair said.

Police Chief Douglas Dortenzio said checking street lights used to be performed by the Electric Division.

“They spun that responsibility off on us,” he said.

Police do a town-wide check once or twice a year, Dortenzio said. Officers have other priorities, and the job is very time consuming, he said.

“We try to help out the Electric Division,” Dortenzio said. “We have a shared interest in making sure lights are on.”

If a resident notices a malfunctioning street light, Adair said, they are urged to call the Electric Division at 203-294-2273 between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. When reporting, residents are asked to include a description of the light’s location, either providing the silver numbers mounted at eye level on the pole or the nearest cross street and address of the nearest home.

The 14 street lights out on Center Street were reported Wednesday morning, Adair said.

aragali@record-journal.com (203) 317-2224 Twitter: @Andyragz



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