Diamondhead to lower wattage on some street lights

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - A city-wide street light reevaluation in Diamondhead has some residents very concerned.

Scott Duncan said he became aware of the plan to dim a number of street lights throughout Diamondhead when an orange band showed up around the light pole on his street corner.

"From 450 watts down to 150 watts," Duncan said, "basically, in order to save the city money."

Duncan said he's concerned about the safety of the citizens after he almost hit a woman as he rounded a corner on a poorly lit road.

"She was in dark clothing and I actually almost run her over. You could have car jackings, you could have people burglarizing their cars with the low lighting on the streets," explained Duncan.

Hugh Smith lives directly across the street from Duncan.

"It's a major concern," Smith said. "I'm concerned when I back my car out, because if I'm backing up, I'm liable no matter who is coming."

City leaders say they are in the process of evaluating street light needs in Diamondhead as a cost saving measure. Right now, the city pays about $144,000 a year to light-up the city.

"Like on the south side, there are no houses, nothing out there but woods, and they might have a 450 watt bulb there we don't really need," said Richard Sullivan.

Sullivan is Acting City Manager. He said the safety of residents is the priority and that the 450-watt bulbs would remain at major intersections and on heavily traveled roads. But we found orange bans on poles along busy Golf Club Drive.

"We're not trying to jeopardize safety at all out here. Actually, we're trying to get more lighting into the area," said Sullivan.

City leaders say part of their street light evaluation is replacing burnt out bulbs and adding street lights where they are needed.

And there is good news for Scott Duncan and his neighbors. The 450-watt bulb near their homes will remain there.

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