Letter: Shedding light in South Portland
Recently the South Portland City Council asked staff to look at reducing street lights (2,011) for two reasons: cost ($26,033 Central Maine Power rental fee per month) and reduction of light pollution. Code Enforcement began the process of choosing the lights to turn off. No lights in or near intersections for safety reason would be cut. Spacing or nearby lighting was also a consideration. Staff came forward with eliminating 112 lights on arterial streets such as Broadway, Highland Avenue, etc., with an approximate monthly savings of $1,600.
As a city councilor my first consideration is public safety. Secondly, how does one come forward to appeal their loss of street light for sound reasons? When the lights are turned off and you feel a hardship, you can appeal to the Planning Office at 62 E Street. These are tough economic times and budget cuts are necessary, but public safety will be our first priority. As for LED conversions, CMP is not ready for this happening and the cost for us to do it is not a feasibility. We hope you will try these light reductions and if you can offer us some other consideration, we would appreciate it.
City Councilor Maxine Beecher