Ask the Chief
Recently, people have expressed a concern as to how dark Minneota is at night. They have asked if anything can be done to add lighting in neighborhoods.
This is a very good question and I have an answer. Our existing street lights are located at intersections with approximately one light per block.
The purpose of these lights is to draw attention to the intersections. There are only a few mid-block lights located at the street. These lights do a good job of illuminating the intersections but fail to shine very far into the block or onto yards.
One obstruction to the lights are our mature and beautiful trees located along boulevards.
The light from the street lights is often at the same level as the tree canopy. We could dramatically trim the tress but that would take away from their beauty and greatly decrease the shade they provide during the summer.
I don't think anyone would like to see that happen to the trees. So we are left asking, what can be done? I believe the simplest, most direct and most tax friendly idea would be for residents to adopt a light.
I promoted this program last year and started it by adopting a light in my alley.
The light is provided, installed and maintained by OtterTail at no expense to me. I simple pay for the electricity which cost less than $8 per month. That is approximately .27 cents per day.
Pretty affordable don't you think?
In addition, the pole doesn't need to be on your property. You can adopt a light anywhere in town. But why stop there?
As I drive through our neighborhoods, I notice that the majority of homes don't have a porch light or garage light turned on. These houses are extremely dark.
If they would turn on their porch and garage lights they would not only light up their own property (which deters theft from vehicles) but they would also cast light onto the sidewalks and street directly in front of their residence. If everyone would use the lights, they already have we could significantly brighten Minneota.
Are you thinking that you can't afford to run a light or two all night long? In the past you may have been correct but you can do what I did.
I went to Gislason Ace Hardware in Minneota and I purchased some very affordable LED lights for my home. These lights cost very little to use and have a long life. I know that some may say that this is not their problem or responsibility to provide lights and I know that some will say that the city should be adding lights...
They would be correct but anything the city does has a direct impact on taxes. I think we can avoid the tax issues entirely by accepting the fact that this is our community and that we have the ability to make a positive change on our own.
I encourage you to turn on your porch and garage lights. I encourage you to use high efficiency LED light bulbs. I encourage you to adopt a light on your block or in your alley.
I encourage you to lock your vehicles and remove anything of value from them. I encourage you to be an active citizen and to take responsibility for your property and neighborhood.
I’m not asking you to do anything I wouldn't do myself ... In fact I already have.