NEW HOPE, Ala. - "It's a blessing just to see them out there working, you know," said Mayor Butch Taylor.
You wouldn't typically think of a traffic light installation as being a blessing, but Taylor will tell you, it's been: "A total aggravation to try and get it done."
The lights started flashing red and yellow over the summer. The city attempted several times to try small fixes—but found out: essentially the whole system would need to be replaced. So they hired a company to come install the new lights and wiring.
"We were told last Thursday they would be there on Thursday- and they didn't show up. Then they called back and said they'd be here Saturday morning, they didn't show up. Then they called back and said they'd be here Monday or Tuesday, they didn't show up," said Taylor.
Then came the ultimatum. "You're either going to do it or we’re going to find someone else."
They opted for someone else.
Mayor Taylor says it's their responsibility to fix the light, but they made a deal with ALDOT, and on Wednesday morning, New Hope had restored hope for a working light. The price tag ended up being $13,000. "I hate to spend the citizen's money like this, instead on something else- but for their safety," said Taylor.
It's worth it. Especially if that means the calls demanding to get it fixed are stopped- I'm sure he’d like to stop talking to me about the topic too. "It would be nice- but I'm not going to say anything until the lights come on."
And when it comes to Mayor Taylor's feelings on these lights: let there be no confusion what he'd like to do with them after they're taken down for good. "Well, I'd like to throw them in the ditch."
But he's got a better idea. "We're probably going to hang one up as a memento of all the confusion we've had."
They hope the lights will be fully functioning by Thursday.