Lights going back up on Stuart Place

PALM VALLEY — For the past several weeks, it’s been a little dark along Stuart Place Road between Highway 83 and El Camino Real, the main entryway into Harlingen Country Club.

But that issue is in the process of being resolved.

On Friday, AEP crews were out replacing poles and installing new light fixtures in the area just north of the interstate and along the fence-line of Palm Valley.

Mayor George Rivera said the project has taken awhile and it was dark in the area.

“I knew they were working on it and didn’t think anyone talked about it,” Rivera said Friday. “It was just normal upgrades. Why it took so long, I don’t know. I do know they are going back up again. I actually see trucks out there now.”

AEP Communications Consultant Eladio Jaimez said AEP had gone out to perform routine maintenance on the poles and lighting. That’s when they couldn’t figure out who was paying for them.

“They were not attached to an account, so they took them out,” Jaimez said. “Nobody was paying for them. Now we have created orders to put them back in and I think attach to the city of Palm Valley’s account.”

Rivera said he was unaware of any of those problems. He said AEP informed the city of the upgrades and the equipment needed replacement.

“I didn’t know there was a big issue,” he said.

Rivera said if the lights are on the side of Palm Valley outside the fence-line, it is the city’s account and responsibility.

“We do get a bill from our electricity provider,” he said. “It’s not necessarily AEP. We are on the co-op like Harlingen is.”

Rivera was quick to state the lights and monthly service is being paid for by the city and said he had not heard of the issues AEP is suggesting.

“We ordered the lights and paid for the lights and paid for the service,” he said. “This is our side and we get a bill for all that electricity and they are on our system as well as the inventory that is.”

As of Friday afternoon, AEP crews were still on site putting up the polls and lights.

Neither Rivera nor Jaimez knew when the project would be completed.