Butte-Silver Bow is asking residents to help identify all street lights that are out or malfunctioning so they can be fixed.
Public Works crews working early evenings and early mornings will chart them, too, as part of a county-wide inventory on which ones need repaired, said Nick Sandford, the county’s road operations manager.
The county’s chief executive, Dave Palmer, said early in 2016 when he was running for the office that one of his goals was to get all street lights operating.
“Criminals love the dark, and I just think a well-lit city is a good thing,” he said then. “It looks like you are open for business.”
Palmer said this week that it was time to make good on the pledge.
“The other night I ran to Safeway from my house and came back a different way, and I bet you I counted 20 of them that were out just on the main routes,” he said. “And that’s not driving down neighborhoods.”
Sandford said street lights also enhance safety for pedestrians and motorists.
While some lights are simply out, some flicker and some go on for a while then off for a while. Residents are asked to report any of those at co.silverbow.mt.us, the county’s webpage.
On the left side of the home page toward the bottom, there is a link that says “Report a street light problem.” That takes you to a page that asks for some basic information on who you are, where the light is located, and the nature of the problem.
Palmer said some lights are maintained by the county, including those on Main Street, and many are overseen by the Montana Department of Transportation, such as those along Harrison Avenue and Front, Montana, and Park streets. NorthWestern Energy is solely responsible for some, Palmer said.
Palmer said lights that are out or malfunctioning will be charted and Patrick Riordan, who oversees the county’s geographic information system, will notify the MDT and NorthWestern Energy about theirs and ask they be fixed.
Butte-Silver Bow crews will fix the county-owned ones, Palmer said, just as they do potholes on county streets. There is a link on the website to report potholes, too.