SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Residents in a Hidden Valley neighborhood have been living in the dark.

"They don't call us back. They don't answer the phone, so we're in limbo. No security, no street lights in the area," said Joyce, a concerned resident.

Joyce asked NewsChannel 3 to not publicize her last name. She has lived in the same neighborhood for 18 years. She spends a lot of time watching her cul-de-sac. On August 11, Joyce noticed the street light in front of her house go out. She waited for a few days before she notified Santa Barbara Public Works. 

"That was in the middle of April. Nothing has happened. Either the city doesn't want to pay the contractor or the contractor doesn't want to do the work. I don't know. None of us know," said Joyce.

The public works department is aware of the situation.

"I can assure you the city has been working diligently on this project. We're very aware of the situation and how dark it is in this neighborhood," said Alelia Parenteau, energy analyst for Santa Barbara Public Works.

The city called for an emergency bid among contractors. It signed a deal for the $100,000 project set to commence mid-September.

"It just takes time to develop a project of this scale. We had a catastrophic failure of a large lighting circuit. It's an old circuit, an old infrastructure. We didn't expect it to fail so soon," said Parenteau.

She also says the department reached out to neighbors directly affected by the outtage and even set up a neighborhood meeting.