It is a familiar phenomenon, part of the pulse of the city: the sun sets, the sky grows dim and streetlights blink on to illuminate the town like incandescent stars.
In Ogdensburg, however, many streetlights no longer shine, or flicker on and off, causing a public safety issue and an aesthetic concern.
Deputy Mayor Michael D. Morley noted broken streetlights during the weekend.
I noticed two of them traveling down Lafayette Street, he said.
City Manager John M. Pinkerton has heard the complaints, too.
We have citizens that are concerned about the streetlights going off, what have you, he said. I want to give them information about what they can do.
Mr. Pinkerton asks residents to notify either the city or National Grid when a broken streetlight is found.
It would help if they can tell whoever they call what is wrong with the light, he said. So they should note whether the light is out altogether, or if it is blinking that probably means the ballast has gone bad. If the light is on all day it means the sensor is not right.
Callers also should try to find the pole number of the streetlight, which is attached by metal plate or written directly on the pole, Mr. Pinkerton said.
Ogdensburg is responsible for only 50 of its streetlights; the rest are maintained by National Grid. Mr. Pinkerton said the city and the utility contact each other when an outage occurs, so it is appropriate to call either.
National Grid will send a crew through the city to look at all the lights, he said. We want residents to be proactive about reporting these, though.
National Grid can be reached at 800-642-4272 or at www1.nationalgridus.com/streetlight.
Residents calling Ogdensburg should dial the Department of Public Works at 393-2300 or report via the Internet at www.ogdensburg.org.