The County of Stettler will look into lighting up one of its hamlets after councillors discussed some complaints about street lights at their Nov. 10 regular meeting.
Coun. James Nibourg requested the issue of Hamlet of Erskine lighting be placed on the agenda, and began by stating both he and Coun. Justin Stevens had heard complaints from residents of the hamlet that street lighting is insufficient.
Nibourg stated the complaints he heard from residents included concerns about theft and vandalism problems in Erskine, a small hamlet about 10 minutes west of the Town of Stettler.
Nibourg stated lighting seems to be an issue as the residents felt more lighting would reduce the crime problem.
Nibourg suggested the county examine the Erskine concept plan to possibly install more light standards, making sure the lights are strategically placed to get the most value for the money.
Nibourg also pointed out the county doesn’t want to place new street lights in a spot that generates complaints from residents.
Reeve Larry Clarke also mentioned the county needs to stay on top of burned out street light bulbs.
County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy stated Stettler County asks residents of hamlets to call the municipal office right away if they notice a burned out street light.
She added that each light pole has an identification number on it, and if the resident can provide that information it makes the county staff’s work much easier.
Cassidy explained that some of the street lights in Erskine belong to Stettler County and some belong to ATCO Electric, and she suggested meeting with ATCO to discuss the issue. Clarke stated he thought ATCO was already handling this issue.
Nibourg suggested the county let the public know how to handle the issue of burned out street lights.
Nibourg also mentioned the concept of “crime prevention through environmental design,” also referred to as CPTED.
Many urban communities use the CPTED approach to reduce or eliminate environmental factors in a community that accommodate crime; for example, ensuring sidewalks are located near busy, well-lit areas and cleaning up graffiti immediately.
Coun. Stevens noted that certain recreational spots in Erskine are busy, such as the outdoor skating rink and improved lighting would also help those residents get to and from home when they’re walking at night.
Coun. Dave Grover agreed with a point made earlier in the meeting, and that was to ensure new street lights are located in spots where they don’t annoy residents by shining directly into their homes.
Councillors eventually agreed to have staff work with ATCO to examine public lighting in the Hamlet of Erskine while also informing the public how burned out street lights can be replaced.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review