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Manor pulls plug on 60 streetlights

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Citing an annual savings of $6,100, Manor officials voted last week to pull the plug on nearly 60 streetlights — about one-fourth of the lights in town.

Council's 5-0 vote frustrated a resident of state-owned Manor-Harrison City Road who said he barely gets any borough services for his estimated $200 property-tax bill.

Because he lives on a state road, PennDOT handles snow plowing and road reconstruction, George Smeltzer said. He said he rarely sees the police patrolling near his home, and he complained about the accumulation of junk vehicles on Manor-Harrison City Road properties.

Of the 58 lights that will be turned off, 20 are on Manor-Harrison City Road, and 16 are on state-owned Sandy Hill Road.

“I think we need to look someplace else to cut before we cut the last service available,” said Smeltzer, a borough resident since 1987.

Council's decision comes after a review of the streetlights in Manor a couple of years ago by borough manager Joe Lapia and the police and fire departments. A few of the lights that are being turned off — along the western side of Sandy Hill Road — actually are in North Huntingdon.

The residential lights that are being eliminated are spread through the borough: four on Longview Drive; three on Observatory Street; two each on First Street, Mt. Pleasant Boulevard and Rowe Road; and one each on Goldie Lane, Gregory Drive, Forrest Court, Ash Street, South Railroad Street, Penn Road, Westmoreland Avenue, Frederick Drive and Cleveland Avenue.

“All the main intersections are still left on,” said Council President Brian Woy, a fire captain.

Council justified the decision by saying Manor would save $8.70 per light each month by having West Penn Power turn them off. Last fall, council adopted a budget that reduced annual spending on streetlights by $5,000 to $35,000.

No other residents confronted council about the streetlights, but Mayor David Sturgess questioned the elimination of a light near the Norwin Elks Club's private drive off Sandy Hill Road.

“That's a tough place to get out of,” he said.

Officials said residents or businesses may contact West Penn Power if they want any of the eliminated lights to be turned back on, but they would have to pay the company for the light service.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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