Can somebody call Diane Sawyer?
Three years ago, Colorado Springs was thrust into the media spotlight when city officials decided turned off nearly 8,000 streetlights, among other drastic cost-cutting measures, because of budget constraints.
After tonight, all the darkened streetlights will be back on.
The development is unlikely to generate as much publicity, but Mayor Steve Bach is inviting the media to watch him “flip the switch” on the last darkened streetlight at 5 p.m. Monday.
The streetlight is on the northwest corner of Academy Boulevard and Constitution Avenue, according to the mayor’s office.
“Restoring the remaining 3,500 streetlights is one of the key community benefits in the city’s 2013 budget,” Bach said in a statement.
“With additional savings from 2012, we are glad to be able to restore this service to the citizens before the New Year,” he said.
Here’s some background from the city:
In 2009, the city turned off about 8,000 streetlights to save money. All residential streetlights were flipped back on in 2010. After tonight, all remaining arterial lights will be back on.
“Budget savings from 2012, including salary savings from not filling vacant positions, helped fund the $150,000 needed to turn the lights back on,” the city said. “The electric cost to keep the remaining 3,500 lights on will be approximately $100,000 annually.”
While all the streetlights are supposed to be back on, the city cautioned that some may still be dark “due to copper wire theft or other maintenance issues.”