Lights out for this plan

Saving money in government is not always easy, even without political disputes. Just ask the city of Grand Junction.

As reported by The Daily Sentinel’s Amy Hamilton, city officials seeking to trim city spending came up with what sounds like a reasonable plan: turn off some of the city’s 5,000 street lights.

But that plan ran into a serious obstacle in the city’s contract with Xcel Energy. Under it, the city can’t turn off individual streetlights. Instead, Xcel would have to remove those lights. And the cost of doing so would eat up any savings for at least two years.

It’s telling about the complicated nature of cost savings that such a simple and straightforward idea proved to be far more complex and costly in practice.


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