By Kathleen Quilligan and Chas Reilly, Times of Northwest Indiana

Merrillville's decision to shut off many streetlights on the town's main thoroughfares has some Crown Point residents who live near the Merrillville/Crown Point border concerned about the impact it could have on their community.

Mayor David Uran asked City Engineer Tris Miles at a recent Crown Point Board of Works meeting to get in touch with Merrillville about the streetlights on 93rd Avenue.

Merrillville is disconnecting every other light on 93rd Avenue and the town's other main thoroughfares to reduce its utility bill. Town Councilman Lance Huish said he also wants to disconnect all of the decorative streetlights on 93rd Avenue.

Uran said he understood Merrillville was looking for ways to save money, but residents along that street had contacted City Councilman Andrew Kyres with concerns about safety.

Uran said because the only residents along the street were on the Crown Point side, he was open to Miles finding out from Merrillville how much it would cost to keep the lights on.

Some Merrillville town councilmen said they have no problems if Crown Point pays for lights on 93rd Avenue.

"If that's what they want to do, that's OK," Councilman Richard Hardaway said.

Huish said he would want Crown Point to take the lights into the city's inventory instead of the lights staying in Merrillville's inventory if the city decides to pay for the lights. By putting the lights into Crown Point's inventory, the city would directly pay NIPSCO each month for the lights instead of paying Merrillville each month.

"If they want them, they can have them," Huish said.

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