The director of Haverhill’s Division of Public Works (DPW) will lead the city’s efforts to repair broken streetlights, including those owned by utility provider National Grid.
Haverhill DPW Director Michael Stankovich has begun to coordinate “the overall street lighting program” of city and utility-owned streetlights with outside companies and consultants “to provide them direction,” according to Mayor James J. Fiorentini. He asked Stankovich to take on the task as he informed the city council of his decision to hire an outside company, Siemens Street Lighting Group, to repair malfunctioning city-owned streetlights.
“I share the council’s frustration with the broken streetlights downtown and in other locations,”Fiorentini said. “The vast majority of streetlights in the city are not owned by us. It is estimated that National Grid owns about 5,100 street lights, while the city owns about 700. The city-owned street lights are ornamental lights, which are primarily located on the downtown streets. However, there are also several hundred ornamental lights along the side streets throughout the city.”
Meanwhile, Stankovich has brought in an outside electrical engineer to assess street light load boxes in the downtown. He will be asking Siemens to conduct an audit of the city owned lights, including “regular night time visits to the lights,” Fiorentini said.
City councilors, including Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, have spoken out over broken downtown streetlights since last September, including a recent council meeting and on WHAV’s “Open Mike” program.
“My concern was safety, quality of life. You know let’s just make downtown the most user friendly we can,” Daly O’Brien told WHAV.
“Some, but not all, of the streetlights on Wingate Street have been fixed and we have received a number of positive messages from the merchants there,” Fiorentini said. “Please be advised that in some instances, street light repair can take some time due to warranty claims process.”