Akwesasne Community Streetlight Project Expands

Published July 27, 2019

AKWESASNE — A public safety initiative that began last year is set to resume in the community of Akwesasne next week. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council announced at their weekly work session held on Wednesday,Ohiarihkó:wa/July 17, 2019 that 63 additional streetlights will be placed at intersections and along roadways throughout the southern portion of Akwesasne. The latest installations will bring the total number of new lights to 94.

“The Tribal Council continues to take the overall safety and wellbeing of every Akwesasne resident and local traveler seriously,” stated Tribal Chief Michael Conners. Chief Conners added, “I extend my appreciation to those individuals who voiced the need for improved lighting and helped identify ideal locations for new streetlights along our community’s roads.”

In Tsiothohrkó:wa/January 2018, the Tribe requested the assistance of community members in helping to enhance public safety measures in Akwesasne. Community members were asked for their input on a proposed plan to expand street lighting in Akwesasne’s southern portion. The callout was in response to concerns voiced by local residents at tribal meetings and other venues.

“Strengthening the safety of our community is an initiative that the Tribe continues to undertake in collaboration with tribal members,” shared Tribal Chief Eric Thompson. Chief Thompson noted, “As the community of Akwesasne continues to grow, we look forward to continuing our combined efforts in helping to bring much-needed infrastructure projects to fruition.”

Following the callout for input, the Tribe’s Planning & Infrastructure Department developed a draft plan that involved the placement of streetlights at most intersections and roadways in Akwesasne’s southern jurisdiction. The project commenced on Kenténha/October 4, 2018 with the first phase of installations, which included 31 new LED streetlights along Route 37.

The second phase of the community streetlight project begins next week with the installation of ten lights. The majority of streetlights will be placed along Akwesasne’s secondary roads, as well as a few more requested locations on Route 37—including at the Akwesasne Housing Authority entrance, Tribal Police Station, Maintenance Warehouse and American Legion Post 1479.

National Grid will continue to install the streetlights on existing poles at no cost however; the Tribe will be responsible for paying the cost for new poles, if needed, and electricity usage. Compared to conventional streetlights that are still located along some Akwesasne roads, the new ones being installed are Type D LED lights that are more energy efficient.

“I am very proud of the assistance and appreciation that has been received from individuals wanting to help keep our community safe for everyone,” said Tribal Chief Beverly Cook. Chief Cook added, “I am pleased that the Tribe is able to expand this initiative for the safety of local travelers and the security of community members.”

For more information on the community streetlight project or to suggest additional locations, please contact Construction Manager Brent Herne by calling (518) 358-4205, emailing brent.herne@srmt-nsn.gov, or stopping by his office in the Planning & Infrastructure Building located at 2817 State Route 95 in Akwesasne, New York.

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