(An updated list has been published. See this article's media gallery.)
Baldwin Borough officials met again on Tuesday night to discuss the possible elimination of almost 28 percent of the borough's 1,350 streetlights.
A joint recommendation by Baldwin Mayor Alexander R. Bennett Jr. and Baldwin police Sgt. Kim Reising has been to take away 376 of those lights to save borough taxpayers around $66,000 annually, but after hearing concerns from residents during two special public meetings (1, 2) on the subject—as well as from emails and phone calls—Bennett and Reising have taken around 10 lights off of the to-be-eliminated list, bringing the total down slightly.
Reising said that she considered taking as many as 20 lights off of that elimination list but ultimately decided to continue recommending the elimination of just about half of them.
"Some of them (arguments to keep specific lights) are reasonable," Reising said. "Some of them don't really make sense."
The Baldwin-Whitehall Patch will receive an updated list of the possible eliminations in the very near future. Please check back for updates. (UPDATE: List published.)
Nevertheless, Baldwin residents are expected to lose more than 27 percent of their streetlights following a formal vote by the borough council next week, April 17, at the borough municipal auditorium along Churchview Avenue at 7:30 p.m.
Many residents oppose the elimination of even a single streetlight in Baldwin, as evidenced by this Patch readers poll, citing safety concerns.
Baldwin Borough Manager John Barrett said that Duquesne Light, which owns Baldwin's streetlights, does not have an LED lighting option ready for Baldwin in order to help the borough save on energy costs. Barrett said that LED lighting is only a possibility for Baldwin as early as 2013.
"While we want to pursue LED lighting when it's available to us," Barrett said, "we still think that we have an excess of lighting in the borough and that we can pin that down, recognize some savings today and then hope to capitalize on some additional savings down the road when LED becomes available to us."
Baldwin residents will have one more chance to speak publicly to the borough council before it makes it decision on the streetlights, as audience comments will be welcomed at the start of the April 17 meeting.
Are you trying to keep your streetlight? Tell us about in the comments. You can even upload a photo of it in the dark here with this article.
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