Rockford Streetlight Operation Completed

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Twenty-three hundred streetlights have been removed from Rockford neighborhoods, completing a near-year long project that will save half-a-million dollars a year.

"I leave my post light on every night because it's so dark here in the corner."

Ever since Shannon Brands' streetlight was removed, her sense of security has dimmed.

"There are a lot of kids that think it's fun to go down the street and target people because nobody turns on their porch light, so without the street lights, we've got absolutely nothing," she says.

She has fought vandalism and getting egged. And fears even more problems now that 23-hundred lights are gone.

"What are the street lights for? I thought they were there for public safety so you could drive safely down the streets so people and children could be safe on residential streets," says Brand.

"A streetlight is a street light, it's not there for security," says Rockford Public Works Director Tim Hanson.

If you feel uncomfortable with how dark it is, the city says you can rent a street light, but that will cost you ten-to-15 bucks a month.

"It's like a floodlight and it will light up your entire yard," says Hanson.

Hanson says they strategically picked which lights should go, avoiding intersections, curves and important buildings. ComEd uninstalled them at its own expense, not taxpayers. This powers the city with half-a-million dollars in savings each year. Hanson says this saved seven jobs. Jobs greatly needed as we approach snow plow season

"We do subscribe to using yard lights, lights on your garage, lights on your front door. We have to use something different there because we just cannot pay for the budget we have right now," he says.

Many homeowners now pay with darkness and fear of the unknown.

"I can't see anything that's going on on the property around me, so yes, I worry constantly," says Brands.

There were a handful of lights removed on accident that ComEd is working to reinstall. If you're interested in renting a flood light from ComEd, call 1-866-639-3531. Press option #2, and then hit #2 again.

The Rockford Police Department is currently reviewing data to see if there has been a spike in crime where streetlights were removed.


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