Reports of street light malfunctioning or going dark is a frequent complaint among Brick Township residents. This week, a representative from Jersey Central Power & Light told residents at a meeting of the Brick Township Council how to deal with the issue.
Street lights are not under the township’s jurisdiction, said John Meehan, area manager for the utility company. The township pays the electric bill for each light, but the lights themselves are JCP&L property. It’s a good idea to report street lamps that are out since the township pays the bill whether light flows or not.
“We work on a 72 hour basis from the time we get a street light reported to the time we get it back in service, 95 percent of the time,” said Meehan.
Reporting the light is as simple as filling out a form on the JCP&L website. Though street lights have identification markings on them, simply knowing the approximate address is the best bet so crews can find the outage. If there are issues with underground wires, the outage may take longer to repair, Meehan said.
Some residents whose streets are dark may wish to request a new lamp be installed. Mayor John Ducey said residents can request the township look into a new light location – those are decided by the township – but careful consideration has to go into the final decision.
“One neighbor may want a light, but another neighbor may complain about a light shining in their house,” Ducey said.
In Brick, the township dispatches inspectors who come out and measure minimum and maximum distances between street lights to see if an area should – or should not – be lit.
Generally speaking, street lights cannot be shielded or directed aware from homes, Meehan said. In some cases, a small area can be spray-painted on the top of the lamp, but that provides only minor blocking.
“For every person who wants one, there’s somebody who doesn’t,” Meehan said.