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Chubbuck city councilor prepares to introduce ‘Dark Sky’ ordinances

The Chubbuck city skyline. | Logan Ramsey,
CHUBBUCK — A city councilor is preparing to propose measures that would darken the night sky within city limits and bring the stars into view.
Norman Reece, Chubbuck City Councilor, is in the preliminary stages of introducing ‘Dark Sky’ ordinances to the rest of the city council. Dark Sky ordinances are cost-saving measures that aim to contain city light and darken the night sky through various methods.
“We do not want to impose a mental burden on our citizenry by making them retrofit. We’re not going that direction at all. What we’re looking at is implementing this incrementally,” Reece said.
Reece explained that the two mechanisms to accomplish darkening the sky are implementing light shields and replacing incandescent lights with LED lighting.
He said not only will this bring an aesthetic value to the city that could attract more business here, it would also save money in the long run.
“In other words, you would stop lighting up the sky and save money by lighting where it needs to be,” Reece said.
Tucson, Arizona successfully implemented Dark Sky ordinances because of its proximity to astronomical observatories and has saved money in energy cost, according to Reese.
“In downtown Tucson, you can see the Milky Way galaxy,” he noted.
It’s still too early to determine what the cost would be, but Reece believes the city would recoup the costs of switching over with the savings from more-efficient lighting.
“We have a real concern for people on limited fixed incomes,” Reece said. “We’ve got to do something to help. Maybe this is the way.”
Reece also thinks having the ability to see the night sky in town would be a benefit to the community.
He spoke to an experience he had in Chubbuck 30 years ago. There was a power outage in the city in late August, so his and some other families went to Stuart Park. The kids were all looking up at the stars, and could see the core of the Milky Way galaxy in the sky.
“What’s that?” the kids asked.
Reece thinks that maybe if kids could see the stars, they’d take a greater interest in the science of outer space.
“(Maybe) we can get them off their monitors and look more up at the sky and study things,” he said.
The post Chubbuck city councilor prepares to introduce ‘Dark Sky’ ordinances appeared first on East Idaho News.

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