Town­ship’s con­ver­sion saves tax­pay­ers money

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL

Staff South Glen­garry town­ship is on tar­get to re­al­ize sav­ings in its mu­nic­i­pal street light ac­count.

An in­for­ma­tion re­port com­piled by town­ship gen­eral man­ager of cor­po­rate ser­vices/trea­surer Lach­lan McDon­ald for the March 4 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing states that the file is trend­ing to “re­turn to a sur­plus po­si­tion” by De­cem­ber 2020.

As of De­cem­ber 2016 – prior to coun­cil-ap­proved LED street light retrofitti­ng in the town­ship’s Hy­dro One area of ser­vice in 2017 and 2018 – the ac­count showed a sur­plus of $2,367.

It showed deficits of $141,497 and $83,048 for De­cem­ber 2017 and De­cem­ber 2018, re­spec­tively, and fore­casts a $10,000 deficit by the end of 2019.

When the for­mer coun­cil ap­proved the retrofitti­ng ini­tia­tive in Fe­bru­ary 2017, the town­ship’s gen­eral man­ager of in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices, Ewen Mac­Don­ald, said the street light con­ver­sion pro­gram – the con­tract for which was awarded to ERTH Hold­ings Ltd. of Inger­soll, Ont. in the amount of $236,045.48 – “will pay for it­self through en­ergy sav­ings in three to four years.”

Mr. McDon­ald said last week that “the in­ten­tion was to elim­i­nate the deficit through the de­crease in en­ergy costs.”

He added that “once the street light ac­count is in sur­plus, the ex- cess money will be saved for the next round of en­ergy-sav­ing tech­nol­ogy.”

Con­ver­sion

The LED street light con­ver­sion project was orig­i­nally funded from gen­eral mu­nic­i­pal re­serves.

How­ever, coun­cil de­cided in Oc­to­ber 2017 to fund it as a deficit within the street light ac­count – some­thing Mr. McDon­ald de­scribed as “a book keep­ing ex­er­cise.”

Street lights in the town­ship are paid for as a sep­a­rate charge on mu­nic­i­pal tax bills for prop­erty own­ers who ben­e­fit from the light­ing.

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