RACINE -- Crews in Racine spent Wednesday taking down several street lights! It's a measure meant to save money, but some residents are trying to stop it, citing safety concerns.
Candice Gloede is one of many Racine residents who have signed a petition to stop the removal of street lights. Her block alone is set to lose two street lights, and she feels this is unacceptable. "When the bar's full on Friday and Saturday nights, and there's tons and tons of cars on the street, more break-ins, more kids getting injured. It just doesn't make any sense to me," Gloede said.
Racine lost more than $3 million in state funding this year. The elimination of nearly 500 street lights throughout the city is only a small part of much larger cuts, saving around $80,000 per year. Racine Mayor John Dickert says these street lights won't be back anytime soon. "There is not enough money. The fact is, these cuts will become the norm, as long as this type of budgeting from the state keeps coming down to the cities," Dickert said.
The block of Jerome where Gloede lives is about 1,000 feet, and has 10 street lights. Two of those lights will be removed. The reason for just the two lights is because the street lights apparently weren't evenly distributed around the city. At a light, every 100 feet is lit far better than nearly any other residential stretch in the city, so the Public Works Department sees the cutting of two lights as fair. "It's not good for any of us. We don't like it, but the fact is, this is what we have to do," Dickert said.
It appears no number of signatures will be able to stop the street lights from coming down.