Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Springs offers streetlight adoption program

BY DANIEL J. CHACON AND JOANNA BEAN Updated: March 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

For a price, Colorado Springs residents can restore power to some of the 8,000 to 10,000 streetlights being turned off by the city to save money.

The city today announced a streetlight adoption program “to help interested citizens reactivate streetlights that have been turned off over the past six weeks as part of a $1.2 million cost-saving measure” under the 2010 budget.

A year of service is $75 for a residential light and $180 for an arterial light, which serves larger, multilane streets, according to www.springsgov.com. Adoption fees will be prorated. The adoption fee may be tax-deductible, he said, suggesting donors consult a tax expert.

City officials didn't offer the adoption program before the streetlights went dark because they didn't want to hold up the deactivation while working out the adoption logistics, he said in an email.

To adopt a streetlight, go to www.springsgov.com.

People who prefer to send a check can leave a message at 385-5903 (select option 1), to have forms mailed, faxed or e-mailed to them, Leavitt said.

He said the first adopter came forward this morning. Colorado Springs Utilities expects to turn adopted street lights back on within 10 days, he said.

“Streetlights that are turned off are wrapped with a strip of orange tape around the pole and many will have a red cap placed on top of the light pole. This will help citizens distinguish between lights turned off on purpose and those in need of repair,” Leavitt said.

Adopted streetlights will have a strip of blue tape wrapped around the pole for identification, he said.

He said about 5,300 streetlights have been turned off so far, saving about $760,000 toward the city's goal of  $1.2 million.

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