- Corporate Area residents can pay to repair streetlights in their communities
- It is currently illegal for street lights to be repaired by citizens
- The JPS will be mandated to provide residents with a list of electrical contractors who have been approved by the entity to repair street lights
Residents across the Corporate Area who wish to pay to repair streetlights in their communities, now have the opportunity to do so formally, following the passage of a Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) resolution on Tuesday, September 10.
The resolution, which was moved by Councillor Ian Telfer of the Hughenden Division, during the Council’s monthly meeting at its Church Street offices, downtown Kingston, was approved by 16 of 26 Councillors voting on the matter, following a lengthy debate. A total of three Councillors abstained.
In his argument, Councillor Telfer, noted that functioning streetlights are vital to ensuring the security of citizens, pointing out that many crimes are committed under the cover of darkness.
“The primary function of our streetlights is to provide security. Given our challenges with crime, the importance of having functional street lights cannot be over-stated. Our mothers, sisters, aunts and all females often times are robbed and raped on account of defective streetlights,” he stressed.
In noting that it is currently illegal for street lights to be repaired by citizens, as this amounts to trespassing on the Jamaica Public Service Limited’s (JPS) works, Councillor Telfer said the resolution seeks to facilitate the residents, in this regard.
He lamented that some residents have, on occasions, replaced defective street lights with lights of their own, only to have these removed by the JPS.
The Councillor argued that since the KSAC, which has the responsibility for ensuring that street lights are functional and maintained, and the JPS, which has been contracted to repair and maintain the street lights, both have major financial challenges in keeping these operational, the resolution aims to accommodate citizens who wish to carry out repairs with their own resources.
He, however, assured that “this resolution, in no way, shape or form seeks to shift the burden of responsibility of maintaining street lights from the JPS or the KSAC”.
The resolution also states that it is understandable that the KSAC and the JPS cannot allow private citizens to add street lights to the grid as this will create even greater problems of maintenance and accountability in addition to increasing operational costs.
Under the resolution, the JPS will be mandated to provide residents with a list of electrical contractors who have been approved by the entity to repair street lights.
The document also requests that the JPS be mandated to keep accurate records of all citizens who have utilized the contractors’ services.