CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Some streets in Cape Coral have been dark at night for years. Some city leaders are worried about safety, and say it could be time to pay to turn the lights on.
It all boils down to budget. The city spends $2.5 million a year to maintain current streetlights. There hasn't been money set aside to install any news ones. Some people say that needs to change.
There's no street light at the entrance to one northwest Cape neighborhood. Denis Catalano says children stand in the pitch black waiting to catch the school bus.
"This is a public safety issue. This is not filling potholes," he said.
Since 2009, the city stopped installing new street lights citing budget constraints. Wednesday morning, city leaders talked about flipping the switch on funding. Councilman Rick Williams is behind the push to restart the program.
"Lighting increases visibility! And that is a public safety issue," Williams said. "We need to look at each individual situation and judge it by its own merits instread of just a blanket no we're not going to do it."
The big concern with some is the need to be fair to everyone in the city.
"Right now I think we need to focus on the high risk areas and roll into this program slowly. Eventually, we need a global probgram that will allow the city to get lit up," said Williams.
"I understand that if one person gets a street light others may want it to. But I think we're the only neighbrohood that's been complaining for the last 3 years. Hopefully, instead of studying it to death, they just go out and put the streetlight out. For 200 bucks. Give me a break!" said Catalano.
Right now, the city says if you want a streetlight, you'll have to pay for it yourself. That costs upwards of $200 plus maintenance.
As far as the street light program, city council has the final say. Count on WINK News for further developments.