Winter Texan Worries About Safety After Her Security Light S

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HARLINGEN – The darkness around one winter Texan’s home has her feeling unsafe. She says she wants something done after the security light she pays for stopped working.

Cheryl Reitmeier says she and her husband Roger bought their Harlingen house 10 years ago with a security light installed already. Its sensor turned it on at night.

Reitmeier says although it’s helped her monitor some items of value in her yard, she has something else in the back she cares about.

"A chicken that kind of adopted us, Lucy,” she says. “She just showed up one day and has been here for four years.”

Reitmeier explained the light went out two years ago and her shed was broken into.

Back then, her utility company fixed the light right away. When she returned home this fall, she saw it was out again, so she called her utility company to have it quickly fixed.

"They came out, they tried to fix it, they said the pole was bad,” she notes. “The guy wouldn't go all the way up. So, he said he was going to report to the pole people. That never happened.”

She says since October, she has called her utility company five times and has filed five trouble reports with them. But she believes she just keeps getting the run-around.

"Every time I call, they say, 'Oh yeah, I can see that you've called here, here, here and we've done this and this,’” she says. “And, they refer me to a supervisor and the supervisor says, 'Oh, we'll get it fixed right away.' and it just isn't happening."

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to her utility company, AEP Texas, to ask if they can get the light fixed. A spokesperson for the group agreed to speak with us over the phone. He says there's been a delay because the pole's wood is rotting and it stands in a difficult place to reach.

"From the pictures that I saw from the service tech in the field, it looks like the pole is located in the back left corner of the property, which is the fence was built enclosing that pole, making it difficult for a service truck to get out there,” says Hill Cocke with AEP Texas. “With the pole being rotten it also makes it unsafe conditions for our service tech.”

But Cocke says AEP's engineering team has the equipment to deal with the narrow space in the corner of the fence. However, he adds AEP had to prioritize other service jobs over the light pole.

He tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS AEP crews will make the light work on Thursday.

"It looks like AEP or our contracting company will be out tomorrow afternoon between one and four to reset a new pole and move the facilities over with whatever's existing on the old pole onto the new pole," notes Cocke.

He adds he provided the Reitmeier’s his contact information so they can contact him directly with any problems in the future.

Reitmeier says she is happy we were able to schedule a crew from AEP Texas to come out to fix the light pole Thursday.

If you notice a problem with an AEP Texas light pole, you are asked to call them directly.

Cocke says if you have an issue with AEP lighting, wires or poles in new construction, upgrades, commercial or residential properties, start by filing a service ticket. The best way to do this is to call AEP at 877-373-4858.

He says the customer service rep can pinpoint the location of the problem. The rep will then forward the complaint to the proper department to handle the situation.


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