Selectmen Hoping to Keep Streetlights On
The state is planning to turn off two streetlights at a key intersection.
Salem officials are expected to ask the state to consider keeping the juice flowing for two streetlights at the intersection of Route 111 and Ermer Road.
If the state continues with its plan to shut off the streetlights as part of a cost-saving measure, selectmen will weigh whether or not the town will foot the bill for keeping those lights on.
The two streetlights in question are at the North Salem intersection not far from the Derry town line and a well-traveled area.
At Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Manager Keith Hickey said the town was recently notified by the state about the streetlights being turned off. Hickey had a discussion with town Police and Fire officials regarding the safety issues that could be presented by the loss of those streetlights.
"It's an intersection where traffic moves very quickly," he said. "They have not had a tremendous number of accidents but the accidents they've had there have been pretty severe at times."
Absorbing the annual cost of keeping the streetlights on would cost about $760 based on current rates, according to Hickey.
Selectman Stephen Campbell said the state Department of Transportation does not believe the two streetlights are "needed for motorists' safety" but Hickey's presentation of local public safety officials' opinions suggested otherwise.
Campbell said his understanding was if the town could prove there was "a motorist safety hazard there," the state would keep paying for the lights. He suggested the town provide that information to the state to see if they'd reconsider.
Selectman Everett McBride, Jr. didn't see a problem in asking.
"They've passed a lot of costs down in the last few years," McBride said of the state.