RUMFORD — Due to budget constraints, more than 40 streetlights across town will be removed to save roughly $6,000 annually, Town Manager Carlo Puiia told selectmen and the public on Thursday night.
However, should residents not want them removed, they have the option to contract with Central Maine Power Co. to pay about $120 to $150 a year to keep them up, he said.
“So rather than the town paying for it, private citizens would be asked to pay that bill,” Puiia said.
“It's not a large amount of money, but the town will save around $6,000 a year.”
The procedure to follow to save a light is listed on bright orange signs that will soon be posted on selected streetlights.
Puiia has yet to disclose locations. However, he said Friday afternoon that 41 lights are scheduled for removal, with more expected to be added.
He said police Chief Stacy Carter will review the list prior to signs being placed on lights scheduled for removal.
“You'll be seeing these in the very near future, and you will have 30 days to respond,” he said of the signs on Thursday night.
“This was not a decision of mine. It was a decision of the voters.”
At town meeting polls last year, a majority approved the Finance Committee recommendation of raising and appropriating $666,645 for the Public Safety budget.
That cut the requested amount for streetlights and hydrants under the Utilities budget from $489,000 to $481,000.
At last month's town meeting, selectmen and the committee approved keeping the Utilities budget at $481,000, and a majority of voters approved that.
“It wasn't a fun job, I'll tell you that,” Puiia said of figuring out where the cuts should come.
“Again, it's not a very pleasant thing to do, but when economic times are tough and voters decided as a community to cut budgets, these are some of the effects of cutting those budgets.”