City awaits approval for LED lights plan
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.