By RACHEL J. TROTTER
NORTH OGDEN -- A question about who is supposed to fix a street light has left one neighborhood in the dark since June.
Lightning struck the light pole in the neighborhood near 1250 E. 2450 North in June, and residents notified the city that the light was out around Independence Day.
Resident Jared Olson said that by September, when the light still wasn't fixed, he contacted the city by email, and the city said Rocky Mountain Power needed to repair the light.
Olson said it seems there is a debate between the city and Rocky Mountain Power as to who is supposed to fix the light, but in the meantime his neighborhood is in the dark.
"Having a dark neighborhood creates criminal activity," Olson said.
Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen said that in 2009 North Ogden took over maintenance of the city's street lights. However, some lights are so old, they can't be switched without replacing the entire pole.
Rocky Mountain Power still has to work on those lights.
The city is working with the power company at this point to get the light fixed.
City Councilman Brent Taylor said going back and forth between the city and the power company is not right, and the city should have a better policy in place to make sure it doesn't take so long to make repairs.
"I hope we take this as a serious learning opportunity," Taylor said. "Discussing who is at fault between the city or the power company or the contractor is not what we need to do at this point. At the end of the day, we failed the residents in this area and need to work to ensure we correct the situation for the future."
City Manager Ron Chandler said the city repaired 228 street lights in 2012 and the repairs were completed by an electrician/contractor.
Before the switch, the city paid Rocky Mountain Power a fee to have the company repair lights. Now the city doesn't pay the fee but repairs them through the contractor, which is more cost-effective.
Chandler said the city waits until there are about 15 lights to repair before the contractor is contacted.
Five street lights need to be repaired by Rocky Mountain Power, but Chandler said the city is working with the utility to find a more effective way to get the lights fixed.
Mayor Richard Harris has said previously that calls about burned-out street lights are some of his most regular calls and that they are priority for the city.
Taylor agrees, saying he is a strong advocate for the city's employees, but it is important to demand accountability for ineffective service.
The light in Olson's neighborhood is still being worked on. Olson was quick to point out that he is not angry about the situation, but he would just like to see the light fixed as soon as possible.