GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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January 24, 2013

Grid agrees to Manchester light deal

MANCHESTER — Residents of Rosedale Avenue should soon have a bright future, as town officials Tuesday night approved a petition for a work agreement allowing National Grid to install a new conduit and illuminate streetlights that have been dark for over a year.

Peter Glynn, representing the British-based utility giant, said the work will involve minor escavation work along Rosedale Avenue. Crews will spend three to four days digging about 18 inches down to install the new conduit and wires.

The lights along Rosedale Avenue have been out for more than one year, said Wayne Melville, acting now in a role as interim town administrator after stepping down from his full-time post. Melville estimated the cost of the lights vary and have cost taxpayers anywhere from $170 up to $862 for the time the streetlights were out.

Streetlights are charged at a flat rate, which is based upon the type of light bulb and the hours they are timed to run.

Glynn said the issue revolving around Rosedale Avenue is not faulty light bulbs, but rather the wires underground. The company acquired the town’s electric equipment including the underground utilities from the old Massachusetts Electric in 2006.

Cost was not the only issue concerning residents at the Board of Selectmen meeting. Judy Sabella said she had safety concerns about the streetlights being for so long, especially with the Manchester Essex Regional Middle/High School being so close by.

”We have a street filled with little kids,” she said.

Sabella also questioned why any improvements have taken so long.

Glynn said previous crews were unable to locate where the faulty underground wires were.

He added the excavation work should begin sometime in the spring and would try to schedule work around the week of April vacation, as requested by the Board of Selectmen.

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