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Vermont Towns Aiming To Go Green Remove, Change Streetlights

Repost from: VPR April 23, 2012

Shelburne’s Town Manager Paul Boehne has got that certain sense of humor that can only come from time spent at seemingly endless select board meetings debating the exact placement of municipal streetlights.

“Except for dealing with dogs and leash laws, this would be the most controversial project that we ever did!” Boehne said, laughing in his office just off Route 7.

Shelburne applied for federal stimulus money two years ago and it got nearly $70,000. With that money, the town did an assessment and decided to eliminate half of its streetlights. With the remaining money, Shelburne converted all of its old, inefficient mercury vapor lights to LEDs, a semiconductor light source that can last for decades.

Some people were upset that they lost lights in their neighborhood, but the town saved big.

“We had a bill that would have been around $33-$34,000 a year and we cut that to about $7,000,” Boehne said.

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