Arlington Budget Turns Streetlights Back On

By Amanda Guerra
|  Thursday, Aug 25, 2011  |  Updated 12:52 AM CDT
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The city's budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes funding for all streetlights.

Amanda Guerra, NBCDFW.com

The city's budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes funding for all streetlights.

The streets in Arlington could soon shine a little brighter.

City officials are hopeful they will be able to turn back on all of the streetlights after a two-year break.

“A couple of years ago, we were looking for every nickel and dime to save,” Councilman Mel LeBlanc said. “We had had a budget crunch.”

In order to save money, the city decided to turn off every other streetlight on major roads, he said.

But LeBlanc said even he eventually noticed a difference in "just really, literally, seeing the curb when you were making turns and the street signs."

Constance Jennings said she commutes to Arlington and feels unsafe walking at night.

“That's not safe, because you're in the area and you can't see around you...," she said. "That makes it even worse. And if something happens, no one can see the person or perpetrator.”

At a Wednesday town hall meeting, Arlington city leaders announced they feel there is enough money in the budget to turn the lights back on.

Council members will vote on the $200 million proposal in the upcoming weeks.

LeBlanc said he is confident his peers will agree with him.

“Just talking to the other council members, it seems this is something the citizens have been asking for, so let's get it back on," he said.

This year's city budget, which ends Sept. 30, currently has a $3 million surplus.

Property taxes would be kept at the same rate but new fees, including higher water rates, are in Arlington's budget for the next fiscal year.

The City Council will vote on the budget Sept. 8.

NBC DFW's Greg Janda contributed to this report.

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