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Council denies resident’s request for a street light

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter

A local resident’s request for a street light to be installed in front of his house has been denied.

City staff met with resident Don Smith following direction by council at its Sept. 28, 2020 meeting to review the installation of a street light at 2770 Wilson Rd. N. Due to the pandemic, the meetings took place over the phone.

In a previous letter to the city, Smith requested the light be installed on an existing pole at the south driveway entrance of his property due to damage and safety concerns.

“Being the last residential property on the road, the multiple incidents of garbage dumping, vandalism, and use of my property from a night time parking spot, my request is reasonable,” he writes.

Smith also noted he would come home at night on several occasions to find a car in the dark in his driveway.

“At best I think people could be having medical issues and need to get off the road, but the toilet paper, tissues and used sanitary napkins they leave for me to pick up and dispose of suggests to me something different,” he says.

Councillor Rosemary McConkey says not having a street light in this area is a major concern.

“This is a concern to anyone that lives in a situation like the current owner of this property,” she says. “We can accommodate this resident and the last thing we want to hear is about parties happening, which is a major problem.”

Councillor John Neal agreed with McConkey, noting it’s a safety issue.

“Safe and reliable infrastructure should be across the whole city, not just selected areas,” he says.

However, Councillor John Gray, who sits on the community services committee, says the committee gave this issue a great deal of consideration.

“It’s the fact that it’s going to cost $20,000 to put up a street light,” he says, noting the advantage of living in a rural area is the dark.

“My impression of a rural area is that you have the advantage of a night sky. Here in the city it’s harder to see a night sky,” he continues, adding the cost for the project is quite expensive and doesn’t compare to the other advantages.

According to a city report, street lighting in the area along Wilson Road North is limited due to the current Oshawa Power & Utilities Corp. (OPUC) hydro infrastructure, noting “street lights require a secondary conductor for power, and the majority of the poles on Wilson Road North do not currently have this secondary power supply.”

The report states there is a hydro pole with a street light located across the street at 2765 Wilson Road North, which was installed in 2017 at the request of a local resident. According to staff, this was the only hydro pole along Wilson Road North that had access to secondary power for a new streetlight.

Staff say there are three hydro poles located north of 2765 Wilson Road North, including one hydro pole at Smith’s property, however none of these poles have a secondary supply required for street lighting.

According to a quote from OPUC, it is possible for a secondary cable line to be installed at the city’s expense of $12,000.

Furthermore, due to the fact OPUC deemed the pole at the end of Smith’s driveway unsafe due to the existing high voltage line connection on the pole that extends down the pole to provide underground service to this property and existing wiring, a new pole would need to be installed as well.

Therefore, the total cost of the project to install a new hydro pole and street light, as well as two more lights on the other two existing poles, would cost the city $20,000.

Due to the area of the city in which the resident lives and the high cost of the project, council approved staff’s recommendation to deny Smith’s request for a street light.