Com­mon Council eyes pur­chas­ing street lights

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By The Dis­patch Staff news­room@onei­dadis­patch.com @Onei­daDis­patch on Twit­ter

ONEIDA, N.Y. » The city is mov­ing for­ward with LED street­light re­place­ments.

Com­mon Council plans on buy­ing back the city’s street­lights from Na­tional Grid in or­der to save the city on en­ergy costs, but rather than wrap the buy­back into up­dat­ing down­town’s streetscape, they’re look­ing at sep­a­rat­ing the two projects.

“You’ve got to weigh pay­ing for it and how far you want to go,” said Ward 2 coun­cilor Mike Bowe.

While Mayor Leo Matzke was for up­dat­ing the down­town light­ing and streetscape at the same time, the council over­all felt that re­plac­ing the street­lights first then tack­ling down­town would make more fi­nan­cial sense, since the buy­back

will gen­er­ate rev­enue for the city. Those funds can then be put back into the streetscap­ing work.

Cur­rently, the city pays Na­tional Grid for the use of more than 800 poles and light fixtures, for a to­tal of about $165,000 a year. By buy­ing back the lights, the city could im­me­di­ately be­gin sav­ing roughly $85,000 a year in fa­cil­ity costs. Ar­chi­tec­ture firm Wen­del has laid out a 20-year plan for the city that would cost an es- ti­mated $1.6 mil­lion.

“Up­grad­ing the light­ing makes per­fect fi­nan­cial sense,” said Ward 6 coun­cilor Tom Sim­chik.

City plan­ner Cassie Rose and city en­gi­neer Jon Rauscher both said the city also has op­tions for grants to help cover the streetscap­ing costs, which they plan on pur­su­ing. Rauscher also noted there will be a lot of public dis­cus­sion and feed­back in re­la­tion to the city’s plans go­ing for­ward.

For now, coun­cilors plan on vot­ing for a de­sign plan at one of their Septem­ber meet­ings.

LEAH MCDON­ALD — ONEIDA DAILY DIS­PATCH

Oneida Com­mon Coun­cilors dis­cuss up­dat­ing the city’s street­lights to LEDs at their meet­ing on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017.

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