Are the streetlights coming back to Shelburne? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Are the streetlights coming back to Shelburne?

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Tom and Pauline Kirkpatrick Tom and Pauline Kirkpatrick
John Madden John Madden
Paul Bohne Paul Bohne

For the Kirkpatricks, nightly walks start even earlier these days. Not because of less sunlight, but because of fewer streetlights.

"No, it's horrible; it's dark," Pauline Kirkpatrick said.

The town of Shelburne removed the lights three years ago in an effort to save money on its power bill, a project that cost $69,000.

"We sent out 1,000 postcards to the neighborhoods that we were taking out the streetlights, but I guess it wasn't strong enough because we got no calls back. But when the lights came out we got calls," said Paul Bohne, Shelburne's town manager.

The town is now reaching out to residents with a survey to see where people want the lights back.

"I enjoy the dark skies at night, but at the same time my wife likes to walk the dog around the neighborhood and she has a different opinion. She misses the lights. And I think maybe it's different for men and women," said John Madden, a Shelburne resident

"You feel so much safer with the lights," Kirkpatrick said.

When it comes to safety and crime, the town says dark streets don't matter.

"In towns like Shelburne street lights are not a deterrent for crime. In fact when they were very controversial, the burglaries we were having were in the neighborhood with the most streetlights," Bohne said.

The select board will be presented with the survey data next Tuesday and will decide which lights should be re-installed, which would again cost the town thousands.

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