Council members unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night authorizing the New York Power Authority to initiate a project that will replace the city’s current street lighting with energy-efficient LED lighting. The agreement stipulates that the utility will carry the costs of the $650,000 project, which would be repaid by the city through its energy-savings over a seven- to nine-year period.
“We’re always looking for ways that we can save money on energy in the city,” said Mayor Tim Tenke, “and the fact is they’re coming in at no additional cost to the residents.”
The city invited NYPA representative Jeff Laino to its pre-council meeting last Tuesday to mull over some of the details of the project. He explained that the utility works with municipalities statewide to help it become more energy efficient and implement projects on its behalf to do so.
“We bring our pre-vetted engineers and installation contractors to the table to expedite things,” Laino said, “and have an engineer of record ready to start the design work upon execution of the contracts.”
The project will replace the city’s over 1,600 incandescent street lights with LED lights under NYPA’s Smart Street Lighting program (see box). Financing of the project would align with the city’s energy savings as a result of the changeover, Laino said.
It will take three months to design and engineer new lighting lamppost tops, and another three to complete the work, Tenke said.
Laino added that NYPA would work with the city’s Department of Public Works and the Police Department to identify areas where lighting may be inadequate or subject to crime. The project includes both cobra-style headlights for high-transit roads like Brewster Street and Forest Avenue, as well as more decorative lamppost-tops for the downtown areas.
DPW project manager Rocco Graziosi said he had spoken with other municipalities who had implemented Smart Street Lighting. Their response was, “‘We wish we had done it sooner,’” he said.
Laino added that the Town of Southampton was also an early adopter of the program, coming $100,000 under budget in terms of energy and maintenances costs.
Residents will get their first glimpse of the new city lights this fall.