Members of the Jacksonville City Counsel are asking for help to keep on top of burned out street lights in town.
Ward 3 Alderman Brandon Adams who serves as a Member of the city Utility Committee, reported during Monday’s counsel meeting that following some recent complaints from constituents in his ward, he drove around and counted 14 street lights out in his area.
Adams says that there can be some confusion for residents about who is responsible for maintaining the lights and notifying of outages.
“There are a couple different ways that it works. If you have lighting on your own property that you pay Ameren a service fee to have that light on, then that would be on your own. If the light is on the street, then that is the city of Jacksonville’s bill, but Ameren still takes care of it. A lot of people get confused on who’s responsibility street light that are out, falls under, and it’s actually all Ameren that does the actual repairs.”
Ward 1 Alderman Eren Williams who also serves on the Utility Committee as well as the Planning & Public Works Committee, said she was made aware of several street lights that were out in her ward when she first took office and that she also has been working to update Ameren with the addresses.
Adams said sometimes the assumption is that either the city or the power company have someone that goes around checking the lights, but that is not how it works.
“People can call the Ameren 800 number, or get on their website and there is a spot to report street lights that are out. I’ve also asked if there is a possibility that the J.P.D. night shift could jot down the address of any street lights that they see out and either pass that along to me or call it in or give it to the dispatch to enter into the website.”
Adams said burned out street lights need to be reported to Ameren just as a full power outage would be.
“I’ve been working on trying to get those taken care of after a call from a constituent who brought to my attention some street lights that were out in my blocks. After those were fixed, I looked around town and noticed that there are quite a few out in areas that if it was a joint effort by the community, it is something that could be taken care of quite simply. Ameren just needs the list of the lights that are out and they will replace it within a week to ten days, I think they said.”
To report a burned out street light in your neighborhood, call Ameren toll free at (800) 755-5000 or online at https://www.ameren.com/illinois/outage-center and click on the Report and Outage link.
Adams said when notifying Ameren of a street light outage, make sure to give them the address of the house or business the pole is on, and if no address is posted, use the one directly across the street if you can. This helps crews narrow down just which light on you street is the one that is not working.
City utility officials say that Ameren is in the process of replacing lights with LED fixtures that take a little more time than just replacing a burned out bulb. But that the Ameren crews do a good job of getting the lights repaired or replaced as quickly as possible.