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Eagle River also should turn off some lights PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

Your recent article about the town of Lincoln’s plans to turn off their portion of street lighting north of Eagle River was very thought provoking.

First, let me commend those Lincoln town leaders for taking appropriate action that should financially benefit all of their residents, without jeopardizing their safety.

Why does Eagle River diligently work to bring visitors to enjoy our natural beauty — that includes viewing the nighttime skies — need a Great White Way that brightly shows those arriving visitors the fastest way through town to find what we previously offered them right here in the Eagle River area?

We surveyed the lighting within the Eagle River city limits the other day, and it appears it has approximately 203 of the identical decorative lights, plus over a dozen of the regular overhead corner lights. It also appears that most of the decorative lights are there only as an ego inflator, not for safety purposes. Many of these lights could be permanently eliminated, and still meet safety standards for vehicles and the limited number of nighttime pedestrians.

Assuming the figures stated in your article are correct (47 lights cost approximately $10,000 annually), Eagle River could save approximately $43,000 if they follow the lead of the town of Lincoln. This would equate to more than $28 annually per person in taxes just in power savings, and how much more in maintenance costs like painting, bulb replacements, etc. I?imagine that most residents have a better use for these funds.

At the same time, the nation will save in the fuel needed to produce this unneeded power and also reduce unnecessary emissions into the atmosphere.

It adds up to many benefits and limited disadvantages.

But, let’s be realistic and realize that it’s totally impractical to turn off all of the lights. It is important to have very good lighting in the high pedestrian and downtown areas, and good lighting along all of the roadways. But, why not consider a system to permanently turn off some of the lights that are north of town, and one-half to two-thirds of the lights after 10 p.m. until the early morning hours? That will require a one-time cost that will be recovered in a short time period, with savings for all residents. Let’s go Eagle River. Follow the lead of the town of Lincoln.

Ray Rubin

Eagle River

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 1:48 PM

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