Township’s conversion saves taxpayers money
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.”
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.