THANKS TO GENEROUS OFFER FROM LOCAL BUSINESS, COUNCIL INDICATES SUPPORT TO ERECT STREET LIGHTS ON 115 STREET
Posted on 24 January 2013 by Keith Lacey
Thanks to the generous offer by a local business, it appears all but certain homeowners along 115 Street won’t have to take their dogs for a walk in pitch black for much longer.
Members of Town of Osoyoos council have been informed the owners of Joe’s Plumbing and Heating have agreed to allow the town to hook up its electrical power grid, which would allow the town to install as many as five new street lights at a minimal cost.
Those costs will be detailed in a staff report that members of town council will have access to during upcoming 2013 budget deliberations.
“Joe’s Plumbing is allowing us to tap into their power, which is going to save a ton of money … it’s a great option,” said Ron Doucette, the town’s director of operational services during a discussion by members of council on Monday.
Jim King, who lives in one of two subdivisions located along or near 115 Street, said dozens of his neighbours have supported a request by Julie Wolter that was sent to council recently complaining about the lack of any street lights in the residential neighbourhood.
“I would like to state very simply that as a taxpayer, I am extremely upset,” said Wolter in her letter to council. “I live in Desert Rose Estates and have in the past requested that street lights be erected on 115 Street. This street is extremely dark. It is even very difficult to search out the new exit to the highway from 115 Street at night.
“Someone from the town (I don’t recall his name or title) came up and said it would be too complicated and expensive to give us street lights. That person said we should invest some of our own money to put better lights at our entrance and that may improve the darkness on this street.”
Wolter further stated council has talked about upgrading other street light projects in town and this is upsetting considering there are no street lights along 115 Street.
“I hope you can understand my (and other residents’) frustration and realize that the town should be responsible to give street lights to citizens that do not have any at all, before investing taxpayer dollars on those that already have some lights, even though they may like them upgraded.”
Wolter appeared before council with King on Monday.
There are a lot of seniors who like to walk their dogs at night, which is causing a safety issue as it’s often pitch black along long stretches of this street due to the lack of lighting, she said.
“I really, really think this should be addressed,” she said.
New signage should also be posted to indicate the new entrance lane onto 115 Street off of Highway 3, she said.
Doucette said he will prepare a report for council indicating the costs of installing as many as five street lights along 115 Street before the 2013 budget deliberations wrap up.
Thanks to the generous donation to hook onto the power grid at Joe’s Plumbing and Heating, Doucette said the costs will be significantly lower than what it would have cost to find another way to provide power.
Dave Harfman, a co-owner of Joe’s Plumbing and Heating, said he talked over the proposal with his business partners after being approached by town staff and they decided they would like to help.
“We do see a lot of people walking along that street at night in the dark and we don’t want to see anyone get hurt,” he said. “We talked it over and thought this would be our little way of giving something back to the community and supporting the neighbours up there who do use our business.”
The fact staff told him this will be an environmentally-friendly project using LED lighting also helped contribute to the decision to allow the town to hook up to the power grid used by his business, said Harfman.
Members of council will be discussing installation of street lights along 115 Street during budget deliberations that begin next week.
The town’s budget is expected to be finalized in late February or early March.