Impasse could darken some Fayetteville streets
Posted December 22, 2010 3:12 p.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — A ongoing dispute between Progress Energy and the city of Fayetteville could lead to thousands of street lights being shut off, officials said Wednesday.
The city has refused to pay Progress Energy since July for the operating cost of residential street lights in neighborhoods served by the Raleigh-based utility.
Lloyd Yates, chief executive of Progress Energy Carolinas, said in a letter that the utility has held off on shutting down the lights "because the persons who will suffer the consequences of the city's non-payment (the homeowners) are blameless."
Fayetteville officials said the cost of operating the street lights should be paid by homeowners, noting other utilities routinely bill residents for such costs. Progress Energy needs to petition state regulators to allow it to bill customers, officials said.
Both sides said they continue to work on a solution to the impasse.
"(We) cannot allow this situation to continue," Yates said. "The city's continued refusal to pay its bills without consequences is not an option."