North Charleston councilman: Tax dollars wasted on non-working street lights

Updated: Jan. 16, 2019 at 7:47 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A North Charleston city councilman says tax dollars are being wasted on non-working street lights.

Councilman Ron Brinson says as many as 30 percent of the city’s street lights are malfunctioning. He says some lights have been out for more than a year.

The councilman says taxpayers have been paying the power company whether or not the street lights are operating.

Brinson says it’s a waste of tax dollars.

“We’re talking about paying one and a half million dollars a year for electricity for street lights and maybe 20 percent, 25 percent of them are not functioning. That adds up to taxpayers money that we need to be paying some attention to,” Brinson said Wednesday.

Brinson has received complaints from folks like Laura Bush. Bush says she sees lots of street lights out on her way to work every morning.

She is most concerned about the lights on Patriot Boulevard in the area of Joe Pye Elementary School.

“With the children waking, escorting them across the street, I was really afraid that someone was going to get hurt or killed.”

Brinson wants SCE&G or Dominion Energy to fix the lights now so folks can feel safe.

“Citizens pay for that and there’s a little bit of disconnect going on here. We just want to bring it back to some better level of normalcy. "

SCE&G spokesman Paul Fischer responded with the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“SCE&G’s lighting department was recently notified of a number of street lights out in the areas of Westcott Boulevard, Patriot Boulevard, and Palmetto Commerce Parkway. Technicians were dispatched last week to survey the area and identified approximately 45 lights in need of repair for issues ranging from bulbs out, to vehicle damage, to underground wiring damaged by third-party contractors. Repairs are scheduled to begin this week.

We encourage customers to report damaged street lights as soon as possible, by calling 1 800 251-7234 or by visiting our website at"

North Charleston City council’s finance committee will discuss the street light issue on Thursday night.

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