News10NBC Investigates: Chili neighbors want light poles powered up

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CHILI, N.Y. — Homeowners in the Town of Chili want the power company to actually hook up power to the street lights in their neighborhood. Their homes were built in a new subdivision more than a year ago, but the street lights were never finished and the darkness is now causing safety issues.

Meredith and Rich Willis were excited to build a home in Rose Hill Estates along Beaver Road in Chili. “We moved in about a year and a half ago, we built during COVID,” Meredith recalls.

The Willises are now happily settled into their new digs — there’s just one problem. “We have a pole in the front of our home that has a dangling wire, and the dangling wire has been like that since we moved in,” Meredith says.

Poles with dangling wires are an issue across the entire second phase of the development. “Several of our neighbors, as far as I know, have reached out to RG&E and there’s been no response,” Meredith says. “I don’t understand what’s taking so long to do what seems to be a simple attachment to just give us a little more safety and a little more light.”

The Commissioner of Public Works for the Town of Chili tells News10NBC the poles were installed by the builder and the wires hanging out of the top of them are not live or dangerous. Its RG&E’s responsibility to connect the power and place the fixtures on top. The town has asked the utility a few times since last winter to come and power up the poles but as of yet, RG&E has not provided a timetable on when that might happen.

In the meantime, there have been a number of overnight vehicle break-ins in the neighborhood. “The houses in our track have been hit several times over the last few months, even windows have been broken on the cars,” Meredith says, “I’d like to feel safer in my neighborhood so if we could get these lights hooked up on these streets, I believe that would be one step toward being safer in our new beautiful home in our new beautiful neighborhood.”

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke reached out to RG&E about the issue. In a statement, a spokeswoman says, “The town formally requested to have the lights installed in April 2023. Due to a high demand for new service connections, and new construction in the Rochester area, there were some delays. Those delays have been alleviated with our new self-service tools for new electric and gas service installations that builders and contractors can now request and access online and will expedite service moving forward. RG&E is working with the town to schedule a time to connect power to these light poles soon.”

About an hour after sending that statement, the utility made contact with the town and says the poles will be fully installed on Wednesday.