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Changing streetlight bulbs: It’s not a joke


How many calls to utility departments does it take to change a streetlight bulb?

Well, when that bulb illuminates an island street, or one of Vero Beach’s bridges, the answer can get a bit complicated.

It depends on who owns that particular light – the City of Vero Beach, Florida Power & Light, the Florida Department of Transportation, or Indian River County.   Each of the entities is responsible for specific lights.  

Vero Beach 33963 has been contacted recently by residents who have noticed lights out around town, including on and around Ocean Drive on the barrier island and on the Barber Bridge, and Vero Beach Public Works Assistant Director Richard Mutterback says the city fields quite a few calls as well.

But if the light or lights in question are not owned and/or maintained by the city but by one of the other entities, Vero workers can’t pop over and fix the problem. 

According to Mutterback, “based on Geographic Information System (GIS) data,” 886 lights are owned and maintained by Vero Beach including those in city owned properties, parks and parking lots.

Then there are another 459 lights owned by FDOT that fall within the city limits, including state road 60, the Barber Bridge, A1A, the 17th Street/East Causeway Boulevard and the 17th Street Bridge. Of these, 385 are maintained by the city, 54 by FPL, and 20 are maintained by the county, Mutterback said.

Of the 1,463 lights owned by FPL, 1,440 are maintained by FPL, but to make matters more confusing, 23 are maintained by the city. And Indian River County owns and maintains 20 lights within the Vero Beach city limits.

Confused yet?

Well, we haven’t even begun to discuss the lights owned and maintained by various homeowners associations.

Having multiple entities involved, Mutterback agrees, can get confusing. And getting burned out light bulbs changed, it turns out, is often no joke.