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Cicero residents divided over streetlight proposal

— A public hearing regarding a plan to install streetlights brought in a score of concerned residents to the Cicero Town Board meeting on the evening of Wednesday, June 27. The plan would include the addition of 11 streetlights along Hoyt Farm and portions of Electric Railway and Anglers Club in Cicero. A petition brought by more than 50 percent of the residents living in the affected area had requested that the lights be installed.

David Hess of National Grid introduced the plan for the lighting district, which would cost roughly $5,900 for the town or about $118 a year per household, and which would take three to four days to complete.

After Hess’ overview, the public were invited to voice their opinions. About 10 spoke in favor of the lights. Most were concerned with safety.

“I feel that it is a safety issue,” said Debbie Strong, who lives on Electric Railway. “In the evening, it is very dark in our neighborhood. I’ve heard of many cars being broken into, I’ve heard of homes being broken into, people driving down the road and not seeing someone until they were almost upon them. On Halloween, people don’t want to trick-or-treat over in our section of the neighborhood because they don’t like that it’s so dark.”

Lindy Nash of Anglers Club agreed.

“I’ve had trouble backing out of my driveway and nearly coming to hit somebody because I cannot see,” Nash said.

But not everyone was in favor of the proposal.

“We purchased our house six years ago,” said Cam Grecko of Hoyt Farm. “We went in there knowing there weren’t lights there; we wanted to be in the country.”

Tom Collins of Hoyt Farm was the most outspoken of the opposing group.

“I was the first home on Hoyt Farm,” Collins said. “I don’t want lights because I want to be able to see the stars. I don’t want the light shining into my bedroom after hours. People think it’s safer, but it’s just a perception of safety.”

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