Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

August 28, 2014
Tooele seeks new street light repair plan

Street light out?

There’s some question regarding who is responsible for repairing Tooele City street lights — whether it’s Rocky Mountain Power, or Tooele City itself. But Mayor Patrick Dunlavy said that could soon change.

Historically, the mayor said, Tooele City and RMP came to an agreement that assigned maintenance responsibilities for some portion of the city’s street lights to Tooele City, and for others to RMP. Still others were the charge of various homeowners associations and other organizations.

These days, exactly who is responsible for what has become a little muddled, he said.

The situation now frequently delays street light repairs, Dunlavy said, because when the city receives a complaint of a nonworking street light, the city has to contact RMP and dig into its own records to determine who is supposed to fix the light.

And even when RMP determines the light is its own responsibility, the reported problem may not receive attention for days or weeks at a time.

“It’s been a frustration to me since I’ve been in this job,” said Dunlavy. “But nothing ever changes, so I’m trying to get a new contract negotiated.”

A new contract would enable the city and RMP to sit down and re-establish who is responsible for which lights, who will be responsible for maintaining those lights, and who will pay for repairs.

For example, a new contract might require Tooele City to fix all the street lights within city limits, but could also allow the city to bill RMP for the repair on certain specific lights. The end goal, Dunlavy said, is to craft a new agreement where, “when the lights are reported as being out, they get fixed quickly.”

“We have a reasonable expectation that when someone calls, the light gets fixed in two or three days,” he said.

The city has already contacted RMP with a request to re-negotiate the contract, and Dunlavy said RMP has agreed to develop a new contract.

In the meanwhile, Dunlavy said the city has decided to task its own maintenance crews with making rounds and fixing all nonfunctioning street lights. Some need only a new light bulb, while others require more extensive repairs, he said.

The city also plans to keep track of how much time and money the city spends on the project with the intention to bill RMP for at least part of the expense involved. 

Emma Penrod

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Emma Penrod is a staff writer for the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin and covers Tooele City government, religion, health, the environment, ethnic issues and public infrastructure. A Tooele native, Penrod graduated from Tooele High School in 2010. She holds an associates degree from Utah State University, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University. She worked for the newspaper as a high school intern starting in 2008. In 2010 she began working full-time in the newsroom until she left for college later that year. While at BYU, Penrod worked as a writer and editor for a small health magazine in Utah County. She interned with The Riverdale Press, a community newspaper in the Bronx, NY and with the Deseret News. She is also the author of two non-fiction books.

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