One Kimberly citizen expressed his concern over the city’s recent decision to cut off service to 86 street lights within the city limits.
Charles Streetman, a resident of Crane Street, claims the removal of several lights on the street have made walking during the evening hours dangerous. He also said he felt the city didn’t give sufficient legal warning about the lights being cut off.
“We discussed it in at least four different public meetings,” Kimberly Mayor Craig Harris said.
The city cut off the lights as one of several ways to cut back expenses, which the council said was necessary in the slow economy. Harris said the only other alternative to cutting off the lights was to lay off a third shift police officer.
“I am concerned the lack of light is handicapping the police,” said Streetman.
The city receives $3,200 from Jefferson County each month to pay the lighting bill, and Harris said the bill was around $5,000 a month before the city cut off the 86 lights.
“We are one of the few municipalities left that pays for the street lights,” said Harris. Alabama Power spokespersons say it is possible for private citizens to purchase a subscription for a streetlight; for more information, residents can call (800) 245-2244.
Streetman also complained about speeding traffic on Crane Street, and suggested that a police officer be stationed there to write tickets; he also suggested the revenue from the tickets be used to pay the officers’ salary or pay for power to be restored to the street lights. The council said that wouldn’t be feasible, and estimated that around 300 tickets a month would have to be written to pay for a new officer’s salary.