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By Tammy Anderson

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Feb. 14) - Streets in Guam may be a bit darker beginning next week.

Guam Power Authority and Department of Public Works officials met with village mayors yesterday morning to talk about Department of Public Works' request to shut off 2,368 streetlights immediately.

Mayors expressed concerns about shutting off lights and asked that the Office of the Public Auditor get involved to investigate the Village Streetlight Fund, said Public Works Director Lawrence Perez. The fund pays Department of Public Works' bill for village streetlights and is supported by payments made when people register their vehicles.

Despite the mayors' concerns, Guam Power Authority General Manager Joaquin "Kin" Flores said that the first series of lights will be shut off next week. Flores has said the process of shutting off more than 2,000 lights will take two months.

Last week, the mayors received information about which lights would be shut off in their villages. Perez said the mayors then expressed concern about possible safety issues.

Perez has said that shutting the lights off will help the agency afford the power bill for streetlights. Public Works has said it does not have enough money to pay the monthly bill, which is roughly US$350,000 to keep all streetlights on, Pacific Daily News files state.

There are 14,000 streetlights on Guam. Disconnecting 2,368 of them will save Public Works about US$59,200 a month, according to Public Works.

[PIR editor’s note: Guam Power Authority officials have said Department of Public Works owes more than US$10 million for unpaid streetlight power bills that have accumulated for years before the current fiscal year (read the story).]

February 15, 2006

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