It's a lot darker in parts of Belmont County these days.
Pease Township trustees have turned off the street lights, citing the loss of local government funds from the State of Ohio.
But citizens say turning out the lights is a bad idea.
It started March 1.
The 179 street lights in Pease Township have gone dark.
Township trustees say it was not an easy decision.
"It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made in 23 years as a township trustee," says Roger Weaver. "I knew it wasn't going to be popular."
Pease Township takes in everything from Yorkville to Bridgeport, Route 214 to Route 250.
Terry Myers of Bridgeport says once the sun goes down, his neighborhood is plunged into darkness.
"It's really, really dark down there," says Myers. "I mean you can't see anything. You don't know what's going on."
James Myers, also of Bridgeport, says darkness is only good for one thing--crime.
"People have been breaking into houses and stealing things, and it's really not good to have the lights out," Myers says.
Lee Rush of Lee's Car Clean says drivers turning off National Road onto side streets won't be able to see where they're going.
"People turning onto DuBois Street, and down at these other exits, can't see where to turn," Rush said. "And it's going to cause an accident."
Township trustees say when they lost $40,000 in local government funding, they put a levy on the ballot last fall.
They circulated flyers urging people to vote yes.
But the levy was defeated.
The flyers didn't get much attention.
"There's so much that you get through the mail at election time, they might just have pitched it," said Weaver.
But now it's getting plenty of attention, as people are in the dark and angry.
They're being told they can personally take over a street light that's close to their home.
By calling AEP at (800) 672-2231, you can arrange to have a street light turned back on, and turned toward your property.
But you have to pay the bill.