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Monticello resident in search of more street lighting

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BATON ROUGE - The process to get a street light has proved to be difficult for one resident living in Monticello. Cynthia Mills is hoping the City-Parish will install a street light on her dark street but has grown frustrated at the process.

"I've called Entergy, Entergy says call Demco, Demco says call the city, so I didn't know who to call," said Mills.

Monday evening, Mills contacted 2 On Your Side hoping to get her questions answered. Her last straw happened while walking home from a neighbor's house after dark. Mills says she couldn't see someone walking feet from her.

"It is very much a safety issue," she said.

The person walking near her turned out to be a neighbor, but Mills thought she would have seen this person if her calls had been answered about getting better street lighting.

The City-Parish says to get a street light, the first step is to contact the 3-1-1 call center and put in a request. Mills has done this.

"Then 311 will contact us and we'll do a study on it," said Chief Traffic Engineer Ingolf Partenheimer.

From there, it's determined whether or not the location of the proposed light is inside or outside city limits. If it's inside city limits, the pole is paid for by the City-Parish and installed by the electric company.

This can take time. While Mills says she's been calling the City-Parish for months, Entergy says once the City-Parish approves a new light pole, it must generate a job and then order materials. The whole process could take about 12 weeks.

Typically, a subdivision developer works with multiple agencies to determine where street lights should go.

If the proposed light pole location is outside city limits, the City-Parish says it could be paid for by the neighborhood and wrapped into your power bill. That's when a location is part of a consolidated Road Lighting District (RLD).

Right now, the City-Parish says it's working through a back log of requests.

"They're working with us trying to get them taken care of," said Partenheimer. "A lot of their crews right now are either in Florida or Texas."

In addition, residents do have the ability to put their own light in, which include spot lights on the eves of the house.

As of Wednesday afternoon, DEMCO had been in touch with Mills to begin work on her request.

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