THOMASTON — Just over a year ago, the Town of Thomaston purchased all of the utility pole mounted streetlights from Central Maine Power Company, according to a post in the Town’s December newsletter.
This summer they were all converted to LED fixtures with Smart Controls. Smart Controls allow each light to be controlled from a Town computer.
The streetlight schedule varies for different areas of town. Route 1 from the Warren town line to the Rockland city line (Main Street), and the major side roads.
Oyster River Road, Wadsworth Street, Knox Street, Beechwood Street and High Street will turn on a few minutes after sunset at full brightness and stay that way until 11 p.m. At 11 p.m., they will dim to about half of their full brightness and stay that way until the sun comes up. Starr Street and the parking area behind the Business Block will follow the same schedule.
The other side streets in the village area will have the streetlights come on about 30 minutes after sunset at full brightness. At about 9 p.m. the lights will dim to about half of their full brightness. At midnight they will shut off until sunrise. Streetlights in the outlying area of the town will follow the same schedule.
The exception to this are the village side streets south of Main Street, these will come back on about 4 a.m. at about half their normal brightness and will shut off at sunrise.
The goal of this project is three-fold: reduce the cost of operating the streetlights (LED bulbs use a fraction of the electricity of conventional bulbs); reduce light pollution; improve the comfort of our citizens (we will sleep better without a bright light shining in our window).
In the event that more light is needed, such as for an accident or a fire or when the public works crew is plowing the streets, both the Police Department and the Public Works Department have access to the smart controls and can turn the lights to full brightness.
“This is the initial plan we will be following and we are interested to see how it works out for everyone,” the letter reads. “This plan will run through December and we would love to hear from you with your thoughts, both favorable and unfavorable. Would you like the lights brighter, dimmer, turned off or on at a different time? We will consider all responses but will act largely on the wishes of the majority.”
Individuals can submit comments via email to John Fancy at email@example.com or send a letter to Streetlights, Town of Thomaston, 13 Valley Street, Thomaston, Maine 04861.