By Jim Brown
It seems everyone in Cavendish wants to get a streetlight, but should the resort municipality pay for them?
CAO Brenda MacDonald, at the Dec 9 monthly meeting, said she recently fielded a call for one in Friendly Lane and from some other people in Forest Lane.
But that’s far from the only requests.
Most of the demand for new streetlights is coming from Seawood Estates, represented by a vocal residents’ association. There could be as many 15 installed if all the demands are met from residents. The development features several sharp turns and three-way intersections, all without lights.
Councillor and Seawood Estates resident Bill Drost originally brought the issue of streetlights to council’s attention. He said many Seawood residents continue to “live in the dark.”
In areas heavily trafficked by tourists new streetlights are paid for by the municipality. Tourists descend in the summer, at a time of the year “when we have 16 hours of daylight,” said Mr Drost.
Residents, meanwhile, are faced with “16 hours of darkness” in the wintertime, long after tourists have left.
In the case of Seawood Estates, which has 23 full-time residents, any property owner wishing to have a streetlight installed must pay for it themselves. But Seawood Estates has paid for some installations, including a more recent one at the bottom of Bayview and Seawood, right inside the entrance.
Resort Municipality Mayor Matthew Jelley estimates there are three lights paid for Seawood Estates.
Some Cavendish residents, like Planning Board Chair George Clark Dunning, would prefer not to have streetlights in their neighbourhoods, opting for “serenity” over greater illumination.
Councillor Drost said lights are often pointing in the wrong direction and casting illumination too far from their source and even into homeowners’ windows. They may also be improperly shaded.
Mayor Jelley and others were worried about setting a precedent if the resort municipality began paying for streetlights on certain private roads and subdivisions.
The streetlights issue was eventually tabled for future discussion, with Mr Jelley seeking more information about how many lights would be needed and what the financial impact would be on the resort municipality.
By Jim Brown