Streetlights in Fairway Meadows set to go dark

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COLUMBIA - Friday is the last day community members in Fairway Meadows have to pay for individual street lights before Boone Electric Cooperative shuts them off. 

Fairway Meadows Improvement and Betterment Association used to take care of the streetlight finances through billboard rental fees, but has since been dissolved due to limited participation. Now, the streetlight costs have fallen on the people who live there. 

Kenny Freeman, a concerned neighbor has been riding his motorcycle around the neighborhood to warn and ask his neighbors to help pay individually for the lights.

"This is not a solution, this is a stop gap measure because we are in an urgent situation," he said.

One light will cost an individual an average of nine dollars per month. 

According to Boone Electric Cooperative, there is 16 lights still in the subdivisions name.

Freeman said he is worried about his 8-year-old granddaughter catching her bus if the lights go dark. 

"We've got kids that are going to be coming out on these bus stops and it's going to be pitch black, pitch dark," he said. "I don't think any of us want that because that's just simply a matter of our children's safety."

Jordan Yount, a previous board member of the Fairway Meadows Improvement and Betterment Association, said without a neighborhood association there is no legal way to collect the billboard rental payments to pay for the lights. 

"There was a reserve fund that lasted until earlier this summer, so we started getting notifications from Central Bank and Boone Electric that not only was there no money, but we actually owe them some money" he said.

Freeman said there is concern for Demaret Drive because of renters. 

"It's a lot of rental properties and a lot of the landlords are out of state so we don't have contact with them and it's unlikely that a renter is going to want to take on a streetlight," he said.

Boone Electric Cooperative Communications Specialist Meredith Hoenes said not all of the lights will be shut off at once on Monday. 

"If an HOA came on Monday and were fully formed and they wanted to take the lights over we would be able to probably switch them all over in one day," she said.