UP FOR VOTE: Plans for HWY 165 street lights makes Richwood residents unhappy


RICHWOOD, LA (11/1/19)– The town of Richwood has gotten the green light for street lights, but city officials say residents may have to foot the bill to pay for it.

When the sun sets, darkness fills this intersection off of highway 165 between Winnsboro Road and Richwood High School. It’s an area where several hit and runs have happened, but the town has finally secured the money to bring in street lights.

“I feel good about the lights. The lights are needed because of all the casualties and all the deaths that have happened on the highway,” said Wysinger Cleveland, Alderman of Richwood.

However, a new problem has arised, it will cost approximately 25 thousand dollars a year to cut the lights on and maintain them. The state says they’re not paying for it.

“Now I don’t agree with that, I just don’t think it should be like that,” said Belinda Andrews, Resident.

On the November 16th ballot, there will be a proposal for a flat rate that would require Richwood property owners to pay 25 dollars a year, for nine years, to cover the cost.

“Ehh, maybe 25 dollars is a little steep, but bring it to vote,” said Chris Butler, Resident.

Alderman Wysinger Clevelend says this is too expensive for those who are already on a fixed income or have multiple properties.

“The city of Richwood to have to suffer the pain themselves and saying, “Hey, I’m going to lose my land because I’m paying extra for lights and extra money I don’t have,” said Clevelend.

Though mayor Gerald Brown supports this parcel fee, residents believe keeping people safe should be a town priority and they question why city officials aren’t making it one.

“I think the city oughta pay for it, it’s not up to us to pay for it. People been having wrecks over there, they should pay for it,” said Randy Kelley.

Alderman Clevelend is asking locals to cast their vote, so the best plan can be made. Back in January a mother trying to cross the highway with her three kids was struck and killed at this intersection. In 2018, there were at least three deaths with two months of each other.

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