Committee seeks input on turning off street lights

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WILTON – The street light committee has posted notices of potential darkening of the posted light on 132 of the town’s 314 lights but it’s not a done deal.

There are neighborhoods that haven’t been looked at yet and the committee is willing to listen to feedback and go back and take a second look(at what street lights to shut off), said committee member Paul Gooch.

The committee’s decisions will be aired during a public comment session planned for May 18 at 7 p.m. during the selectmen’s meeting at the town office. They hope to have all potential lights posted by May 5.

While the committee agreed to not compromise safety, it would be greedy of the town to not preserve light use, said Chair and committee member Terry Brann.

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A budget of $51,197 was appropriated for street lights last year. The committee hopes to reap a potential savings of about half that amount. Each light costs the town $150 annually.

Some responses received to the postings agreed with the intent but voiced concerns to the wording of the sign which offers an opportunity for residents to “adopt a light” and assume the expense to keep it going.

Brann said he followed the wording Sebago used, a town that only received a couple complaints. Several other towns are also looking at reducing street lighting, he said.

“The committee needs feedback on what lights need to be turned off,” he said.

When one resident asked the board why this is being done, board members were quick to respond that the reason is to save money. During the tight budget cycle being faced by the town this year, even small savings are needed, they responded.

Along with deciding which lights to shut off, the committee is also looking at reorganizing the lighting so that one small area doesn’t have numerous lights but they are trying to do it in an “orderly and logical fashion,” Gooch said.

Residents may call the town office or any selectman with concerns. They are asked to also mention the light pole number so the committee can take a look at it.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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