For the past three months, councilwoman Lilisa Mimms has been driving around the city jotting down pole numbers. She looks for poles with fused lights.
So far, Mimms has identified dozens of lights, mostly in high crime areas, that have been out for months if not years. She has reported them to the city’s public works department, the Passaic County government, and PSEG.
Mimms said she has received positive responses from both governments and the power company. She was able to re-illuminate parts of Van Houten Street. She said 13 lights that were out on Van Houten Street have been fixed with the assistance of the city’s public works.
5 lights on North Main Street have been re-lit. A traffic light that had been out for years on East 39th and 11th Avenue has been fixed. She also involved the Passaic County government to light up the city’s dark bridges.
Mimms said the bridges over Passaic County — West Broadway bridge and the Arch Street bridge – have been almost pitch dark at night due to lack of lights. She said the Passaic County government helped her to replace the bulbs and restore the lights.
“We know lighting curbs crime. We know it makes our community safer,” said Mimms, councilwoman at-large, who came into office in July.
Homeowners pay $2.9 million to illuminate the streets at night, according to municipal records. She said it makes no sense to pay for street lighting and not have it.
“We pay public service monthly to keep the lights on,” said Mimms. “If the bulbs are out, it doesn’t matter, we still have to pay for it.”
Mimms has identified fused lights in four other streets that she plans to tackle next. She said on her list are fused lights on 12th Avenue, Temple Street, Matlock Avenue, and Union Avenue.