City awaits ap­proval for LED lights plan

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Kirby pkirby@free­manon­line.com paulat­free­man on Twitter

The New York Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion will take at least three months to de­cide whether to ap­prove a plan for the city to pur­chase streetlights from Cen­tral Hud­son Gas & Elec­tric Corp. and re­place them with ef­fi­cient ones, a com­pany of­fi­cial said.

John Maser­jian, a com­pany spokesman, said the city and the util­ity have agreed to a con­tract that, if ap­proved, would al­low the city to pur­chase the ex­ist­ing streetlights that are owned by Cen­tral Hud­son and then re­place them with mod­ern LEDs.

There are 2,420 streetlights in the city, of which 1,995 are owned and main­tained by Cen­tral Hud­son. An ad­di­tional 335 are owned by Kingston and main­tained by Cen­tral Hud­son, while 90 are both owned and main­tained by Kingston.

City of­fi­cials have es­ti­mated that the changeover to LED light fix­tures will save the city about $400,000 an­nu­ally.

“We’ve re­ceived an ex­e­cuted con­tract with the city of Kingston to pur­chase Cen­tral Hud­son’s streetlights, and have filed a re­quest with the New York Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion to move for­ward with the trans­ac­tion,” Maser­jian said in an email. “Once ap­proved, the city will have pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity for the streetlights, and may re­place them us­ing a high­volt­age-qualified elec­tri­cal con­trac­tor or per­son­nel.”

“In work­ing with city of­fi­cials, we ac­com­mo­dated many of the city’s needs in trans­fer­ring own­er­ship and

main­te­nance of the lights,” the spokesman added.

Me­gan Weiss-Rowe, the city’s di­rec­tor for com­mu­ni­ca­tions and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, said the city plans to pur­chase the streetlights for $500,000.

“We will be so­lic­it­ing bids in the com­ing months to se­cure a lower price com­pared to the city’s pre­vi­ously re­ceived bids of $1.2 mil­lion for in­stall and ma­te­ri­als,” Weis­sRowe said. “The mayor will be in­clud­ing some changes to the bid that we an­tic­i­pate will re­duce the over­all costs.”

Weiss-Rowe said the MidHud­son

Street­light Con­sor­tium as­sisted the city in get­ting the con­tract pack­ager to­gether.

“The city’s dili­gence in ne­go­ti­at­ing with Cen­tral Hud­son, as well as the as­sis­tance of the con­sor­tium, has re­sulted in sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to the city.” Weiss-Rowe said.

Weiss-Rowe said that the new pact will, among other things, in­crease “the flex­i­bil­ity with re­spect to the types of fix­tures the city can in­stall.

“(There will be) more flex­i­ble time frame for the city to com­plete cor­rec­tive work

un­der­taken in re­sponse to de­fi­cien­cies iden­ti­fied in the post-con­struc­tion sur­vey,” Weiss-Rowe said.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the con­tract re­moves a pre­vi­ous pro­vi­sion that would have al­lowed Cen­tral Hud­son to charge the city $250 “ev­ery time it re­ceived a com­plaint re­lated to streetlights from cus­tomers,” Weiss-Rowe said.

In Oc­to­ber 2015, the Com­mon Coun­cil ap­proved bor­row­ing up to $2.1 mil­lion to in­stall en­ergy-ef­fi­cient LED streetlights through­out Kingston. The coun­cil pre­vi­ously had ap­proved bor­row­ing

$105,000 for engi­neer­ing and de­sign work for the project.

The coun­cil-ap­proved fund­ing was to be used to pay Per­reca Elec­tric Co. of New­burgh $1,135,463.80 to in­stall the new LED streetlights. Per­reca Elec­tric sub­mit­ted the low­est of six bids for the work.

The amount to be bor­rowed would also cover con­tin­gency costs and pro­vide the city with enough money to make the es­ti­mated pay­ment of $500,000 to Cen­tral Hud­son for the light fix­tures that are al­ready in place.

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