uFixIt: Over 300 street lights broken in North Bay town

November 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
In ABC7 uFixIt powered by YouTube reports, you can send us video of something that needs attention in your neighborhood and we can help you get it fixed. This time, the I-Team discovered a dangerous situation uncovered in the North Bay.

Hundreds of broken street lights were found in one town and a family's complaints are finally getting results, after sending ABC7 a uFixIt video.

"This is the street light in front of my mother in law's house in Petaluma," says Chris Schattie in a uFixIt video. "At night without that light, the front of this house is really dark."

Pat Guiddy was coming back from a church meeting in June when she noticed that the street light in front of her Petaluma home was out.

"I drove down the block and saw the light was out. I was shocked," says Guiddy.

Her son-in-law sent us a video from his cell phone, showing just how dark it can get. It became a major concern for Guiddy. The 73-year-old fractured her pelvis in a fall on her front steps a year and half ago. She's had to use a cane ever since.

"If I would have had to go out there in the dark like that with a cane, it would have been bad," says Guiddy.

However, when Guiddy called public works to report the problem, she says the receptionist told her there were more than 300 broken street lights in the city, and she'd just have to wait her turn. That was more than four months ago.

"I didn't think that it would take them this long," says Guiddy.

"There's over 250 street lights currently out," says Petaluma Public Works Director Vince Marengo.

Marengo says the backlog has gotten worse since budget cuts forced the city to eliminate a position in its street light division, leaving only one full-time technician assigned to street lights.

"We have one technician dedicated to over 6,000 street lights," says Marengo.

After the I-Team called, Marengo sent that technician to fix the street light outside Guiddy's house and, he says, he's going to start bringing in workers from other divisions to help reduce the backlog.

"We're going to realign and rotate those resources to be more effective on the street lights," says Marengo.

Guiddy says she's glad she doesn't have to live in the dark anymore.

"It's just the idea that, that, I think the street lights should be on," says Guiddy.

If you see something that needs fixing or a government service that isn't working, take some video and upload it to www.abc7news.com/uReport. When you upload the video, include a phone number and e-mail address where we can contact you.


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