The Sturgeon Bay city council, meeting in special session Tuesday, agreed to pull the plug on 120 lights sprinkled throughout the city. The six to one vote, with alderman Danny Wiegand dissenting, is seen as a starting point in an effort to save money & eliminate lights that no longer serve their purpose. The original proposal called for the elimination of about 300 lights in order to meet a budget shortfall of close to $58,000. However, the council, meeting as a committee of the whole last month, scrapped that idea & instead endorsed a smaller list fashioned by Sturgeon Bay Utilities in 2009. Mayor Thad Birmingham noted that some of the lights may no longer be meeting their intended purpose, using a light near the old West Side School as an example. Birmingham said, with electrical costs increasing & less revenue coming in from the state, it was decided to cover the nearly $58,000 shortfall by cutting lights…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/N27.mp3|titles=Mayor Thad Birmingham]
Birmingham pointed out that there was a way for affected residents to try to hang on to lights in their neighborhood…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/N28.mp3|titles=Mayor Thad Birmingham]
By the way, if you totaled up all of the lights under the Sturgeon Bay Utilities umbrella, the number would be close to 1,000.
Not all of the lights expected to go dark are your typical street lights. Jim Stawicki, general manager of Sturgeon Bay Utilities, says some of the lights may actually be closer to home…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/N29.mp3|titles=Jim Stawicki]
Stawicki says customers whose yard light is on the list should contact the utilities office…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/N30.mp3|titles=Jim Stawicki]
Stawicki said a large number of people did not respond to a survey sent out prior to the development of the 2009 street light plan, leading to the reasonable conclusion that those people did not object to a particular light being eliminated.