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Monadnock area residents takea dim view of fewer streetlights

Union Leader Correspondent

December 03. 2012 8:47PM

RINDGE - The State Department of Transportation's plan to save money by dimming hundreds of streetlights across the state has some residents of the Monadnock region concerned.

In particular, state and Rindge town officials are opposing plans to discontinue service to all but two of 13 streetlights at the intersection of routes 119 and 202.

Rindge is part of District 4 in which DOT plans to discontinue 150 of its current 214 streetlights.

Spearheading a proposal asking DOT to leave at least four streetlights at the town's busiest intersection is state representative Susan Emerson.

"She took some exception to it and said before you take it down to two, to take it down to four. That would serve the pedestrians and the traffic better," said Rindge Selectman Jed Brummer. "This is a case where the state wants to reduce its electrical bill."

Franklin Pierce University President James Birge has expressed concern and supported Emerson's proposal.

"I am deeply concerned that the State has compromised the safety of pedestrians and motorists by significantly reducing the lighting at the intersection of Route 119 and 202 as a means for saving money.

"In particular, I am concerned about the effect the proposal has on Franklin Pierce University students who access this intersection in a variety of ways. I am grateful for Representative Susan Emerson's efforts to preserve the safety of Franklin Pierce students and Rindge residents," Birge said in a statement Friday.

On Monday DOT spokesperson Bill Boynton said state officials have not made a decision yet but remain in dialogue with state, town and university officials regarding the intersection.

"We continue to review that intersection," Boynton said. "We were looking at reducing that intersection from about a dozen to just two (street lights) and I believe town officials would like at least four (street lights)."

DOT operates about 2,400 streetlights, but is facing a dwindling utility budget from the state.

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