Town officials are pulling the plug on many of Dartmouth's streetlights to save money on electricity costs following last month's defeat of an $8.46 million Proposition 2½ override.
Select Board member Joseph Michaud said Monday the town spends $114,000 annually on streetlights and anticipates saving $85,000 by shutting off many of them over the next two weeks. Michael J. Gagne, the town's executive administrator, said the town has 1,700 streetlights, and between 1,100 and 1,200 will be turned off.
Turning off the lights is the latest in a series of economy measures Dartmouth is taking to deal with its budget crisis. The town has already closed the Gidley and Cushman elementary schools and last week sent out bills for the fee-based trash collection system it is implementing.
So, closing down two elementary schools and implementing a fee-based trash collection system hasn't eliminated the red in Dartmouth's budget. What else do they have to cut? Maybe they can go without a police force for a few weeks? And who needs a fire department, anyway?
Dartmouth may be alone in shutting off their street lights, but they're not alone in closing down schools, libraries and gutting town services. When will the state step in and help solve this state-wide epidemic? Yet, still DiMasi and Friends scoff at such measures of support as the Municipal Partnership Act.