JAY — The seven-member Street Light Committee has identified approximately 130 street lights to be removed on or after July 1.

When voters approved the $5.5 million budget for 2014-15 on June 10, they agreed to cut about 25 percent of street light funding.

The committee will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at the Town Office to discuss any concerns before making a final decision. The meeting is open to the public. People who have concerns are asked to attend.

People can choose to pay an average of $150 per year to keep a street light on.

Forms are available at the Town Office for people to write concerns about the lights scheduled for removal.

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere and acting police Chief Richard Caton IV will begin Wednesday to tape bright pink signs with teal duct tape on the poles of lights scheduled to be eliminated.

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The budget for street lights this year is $64,150, which covers 397 lights and 17 special facilities, which includes brackets and pole and guy wires, LaFreniere said. The budget for the coming year is $48,000.

The committee started meeting in May after the Board of Selectpersons and Budget Committee proposed eliminating street lights as one way to save some money.

The panel is made up of selectpersons Pearl Cook and Justin Merrill, LaFreniere, Caton, firefighter Darren Roundy and residents Rick Howatt and Richard Harvell.

Central Maine Power Co. supplied the committee with an inventory of lights. The light panel met with a CMP representative to review the process of eliminating, reducing and relocating lights, LaFreniere said.

The committee developed criteria when evaluating the lights, she said. It included looking at hidden entrances, bus stops and day cares, areas of frequent accidents, snowmobile/ATV crossings, hills and sharp curves, exercise areas, schools, crosswalks and more.

The criteria was used in conjunction with actual site visits and the committee’s personal knowledge of where the lights were located, she said.

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The committee split the inventory into four areas, and then assigned each section to a team for review.

The teams brought back their recommendations and they were compiled into a master tally.

There are approximately 130 lights to be removed, LaFreniere said. Ten more will be tagged for relocation, and there are several other lights of which the committee has questions to ask CMP, she said.

Some streets will have no street lights once the lights are removed unless someone assumes responsibility for it. Those streets include Bean Road, Canton Mountain Road, Chickadee Avenue, Tweedie Street, Quarry Street, Emery Street, Lucarelli Road, Sunset Avenue, Bryant Drive and Phipps Canada Road.

Anyone interested in assuming responsibility for a street light should call the Town Office at 897-6785 and provide contact information and the pole number.

After the committee’s June 26 meeting, members will work with CMP to have the designated lights removed.

CMP has indicated that anyone wishing to take over a light will be able to do so without signing a lease. If the light is removed and then people choose to have it replaced or take it over, they will be required to sign a 15-year lease with CMP, LaFreniere said.

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