Small towns face darkness in light of electric rate hike

Small towns face darkness in light of electric rate hike
By: Carly O'Keefe
ALTO PASS, Ill. - Some small towns have to make hard choices when it comes to electricity usage. Ameren CIPS electric cost increases have prompted the Village of Alto Pass to turn off all lights in the city park.
Village leaders hope keeping the park dark will cut down electric costs which more than doubled for the month of January. If the cutting back on park lighting usage doesn't cut the bill enough, Alto Pass leaders say they'll have to turn off the majority of the town's street lights too.
Cobden is facing a similar crisis--cut the lights or break the bank. Mayor Wes Lyerla says police and city maintenance crews will see which street lights are absolutely needed for safety purposes, and plan to shut off the rest.
In addition to possibly cutting back on usage, Cobden may impose a $2 - $3 city electricity tax that will be added to residents' electric bills.