Narberth's street light bills went unpaid for at least 20 years, PECO says

NARBERTH, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Borough of Narberth hasn't paid an electric bill for 80 of its street lights in roughly 20 years, according to officials with PECO.

PECO says the discovery was made last October. The company recently shut the lights off along Forrest Avenue in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The lights in question were apparently off PECO's grid.

Borough officials declined to go on camera but said this likely happened from work done by an unnamed contractor and that nobody was aware of the issue.

"I'm going to guess it's operator error. I think that's just probably more common," said Marla Kaine, who owns Village Treats and Swan Dancewear.

"Someone definitely bypassed the meter and knew they did," added resident Darren Gubernick.

PECO also says it costs about $90 a year to keep a street light on. So with 80 lights at $90.00 a pop for 20 years, that's $144,000.

Neighbors say they shouldn't pay.

"PECO really shouldn't even get the money being they didn't even notice it," said Gubernick.

"I don't think Narberth has that kind of money. They'd be looking for that for a long time. I'd rather have the bridge fixed in Narberth," said Kaine.

The good news is an agreement was made Thursday night under the condition Narberth gets the lights hooked up to the meters.

"We have been in close communication with the Borough since then to resolve this issue and have the street lights properly metered going forward," said PECO in a statement.

The big question left is will the taxpayers of Narberth have to foot the bill for missed payments? Officials from PECO haven't said yet if they'll look to collect.
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