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Statewide Budget Cuts Force Ohio Town To Turn Off Street Lights To Save Money

By Travis Waldron on December 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm

"Statewide Budget Cuts Force Ohio Town To Turn Off Street Lights To Save Money"

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In the aftermath of the recession, states across the country have cut their budgets, in turn forcing cities and towns in those states to make their own drastic cuts. Different towns have made different decisions, with some closing libraries, un-paving roads, closing schools, and even attempting to decriminalize domestic violence, all in efforts to save money.

In November, Highland Park, Michigan decided it could no longer afford to pay the electric bill and shut off its street lights. And despite the fact that such a move saves little money and could jeopardize public safety, New Paris, Ohio is following suit, announcing this week that it too will shut off its street lights when it ends its contract with a local electrical company at the end of the month, as WDTN reports:

Officials say the village’s funding from the state has been slashed by 25-percent and another 25-percent will be cut next year.

So to try to make ends meet, the village is preparing to end its contract with Dayton Power and Light at the end of the month.

That would save more than $17,000, but leaders fear it could also cost villagers in safety.

Towns and cities across Ohio have felt the crunch from Gov. John Kasich’s (R) budget cuts, and decisions like the one New Paris made could have been avoided had Kasich and his Republican colleagues not preserved millions in benefits for the rich and corporations. Ohio Republicans cut the state’s estate tax, lowered its income tax in a way that benefited those with incomes over $200,000, and preserved multiple special interest tax breaks to benefit corporations.

None of that, of course, has brought the job creation and prosperity Kasich promised upon taking office. Instead, he’s decided to uphold his duty to protect public safety by leaving prison guard towers empty and forcing local towns like New Paris to black out their streets.

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