Tom Bodett would not be happy with Brainerd, Minn.
The City Council there voted to keep about a quarter of the city’s 1,600 street lights dark, despite complaints from many residents.
The city would save $74,100 a year by keeping the lights off, according to a city official.
According to the Brainerd Dispatch:
Council members who toured the city on June 29 and June 30 with [Brainerd Public Utilities] officials said they found several areas where lights can be turned back on.
“Most of the areas were OK,” said council member Lucy Nesheim. “Some were definitely, what some people would call … spooky.”
In 2009 Northfield, Minn. looked at adding a streetlight utility fee (pdf) to help address smaller amounts of local government aid from the state.
Other cities across the country have also flipped off the switch on their street ights, according to USA Today.
“Streetlights are more expensive than people realize,” Northfield Mayor Mary Rossing says. Her city spends about $230,000 a year on street lights.
Would you mind if your city turned off your street lights to save money?
Brainerd and Northfield are not the only Minnesota city looking for ways to trim expenses.
The Royalton City Council voted to reduce the number of its meetings to once a month (having met twice a month for more than 30 years). That would save about $5,600 a year, according to council members.
But so far, nothing I’ve found has topped Edina’s cost-saving effort of ending its free doggie-bag program — which cost about $12,000 a year.
What has your city done to save money recently?
- Insight Now – State aid to cities and the hard choices coming
- Ground Level – Facing a squeeze, Willmar asks residents for a top 10 list