Through emails, direct messages on social media, and phone calls, I’ve been reminded of just how dark parts of San Elizario are. There are sections of the city, like along Socorro Road, and more than a few of the side roads, where it’s so dark you almost must wonder if your headlights are even on.
It is dark. A couple of weeks ago I was driving home from San Elizario High School, after a basketball game, and almost hit a guy who deiced to cross in the middle of everything and hope I stopped in time. I didn’t hit him, but it did make me realise just how dark it was.
Then, as I was working on photos and writing a small piece about the game, I received another message about how the City of San Elizario has money for lights, yet seems unwilling, or unable to put them up. It was time to reach out to someone at City Hall.
I recently met with Nancy Montes, City Clerk. We spoke about how dark it was and want needs to be done to have streetlights installed.
“We do have a process in our budget,” said Ms Montes. “Each streetlight cost $2,000 and we budgeted for ten a year to be installed.”
What this process allows for is individuals from the community to come into City Hall and fill out an application for a light to be installed. Once the form is turned in, the El Paso Electric Company reviews both the area and the application.
“It could also be some lights in the area are just not on,” said Ms Montes, speaking about the other issues that has San Elizario in darkness.
This is the first year the City of San Elizario has streetlight installation on the budges. According to Nancy Montes, they need your help, as members of the community, in two areas to make sure the streets are safe and well illuminated.
“We don’t know how many of our current lights are working and how many are not,” said Nancy Montes. “So, what would help is if you see a streetlight and it’s out, contact us so that we can get it turned back on.”
As I’ve driven around San Elizario at night, I have noticed streetlights that are not working at all. I found out, speaking with Nancy Montes, that even though the light might have burned out, the City still pays for a monthly fee.
“The community can be our eyes and ears out there,” said Ms Montes. “If you call and say there are lights out here that are not working, we call it in, and they get repaired.”
Ms Montes indicated that each poll should have a small silver plate on it which has the poll number. Jot down the number and call City Hall with it.
You can also help identify areas that need lighting, where no streetlights exist at all.
“As I said, there’s ten a year,” said Ms Montes, reminding me of how many streetlights are budgeted each year. “Right now, I have two applications that we are looking at.”
You may be thinking that ten streetlights a year may be too few to make a difference. You’re right, it isn’t, but it’s a start. As things progress and the need for streetlights are known, that number may go up.
“We’re trying our best to get these streetlights in place,” said Nancy Montes, Clerk for the City of San Elizario. “We hope the community will help us find the ones that are not working and report them. Also, come in, talk to us, and we can tell you where we are at with this project and help you get the application going.”
If you see a streetlight that is not working or want more information, Nancy Montes said you could give her a call. She can be reached at 915-974-7037