Let there be darkness



City folk will convene the media Wednesday to talk about turning out street lights to help the city save money. Of the city's 24,500 street lights, from 8,000 to 10,000 will be shut off starting Feb. 1 in the city's southwest quadrant.

The latest from Springs Utilities, which oversees the streetlight program, is in this memo, dated Jan. 15:

The City of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities are collaborating towards meeting the necessary annual streetlight budget decrease of $1.245M beginning with the 2010 City of Colorado Springs budget. There are approximately 24,500 streetlights in the City of Colorado Springs. Both the City and CSU plan to reduce streetlight power consumption by deactivating streetlights that are identified to cause minimal, if any, safety issues by focusing on a combination of arterials and residential lights. Concentration will be placed on higher power consuming lights and areas with existing high ambient lighting.

Once a streetlight has been identified to be deactivated, that bulb will not be replaced if it burns out. Streetlights will also be deactivated to achieve the required savings. If the streetlight is identified to remain in the system and the bulb burns out, the replacement will be an energy efficient high pressure sodium bulb. This approach will result in additional savings to the City of Colorado Springs consumption.

The project is anticipated to begin Feb. 1 and take approximately 10 weeks. The City of Colorado Springs Public Communications Department will begin educating the public regarding streetlight deactivation plan prior to the start date of February 1.

Or, in case you're thinking this is hot news when other local media cover the annoucement, check out our Dec. 24 story here.

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