Street lights may get a facelift

JOHNSTOWN — This spring, the city may revisit a possible initiative first discussed last summer to brighten, replace and modernize all the city’s street lights with the help of National Grid.

City Engineer Christopher Vose discussed the idea with the Common Council in August. At the time, he had also emailed details of a potential $1.2 million street light upgrade project to council members. Officials said energy savings would help pay off a bond that might be taken out by the city.

“We haven’t done anything since then,” Vose said Thursday. “We wanted to wait until the new year.”

But he said he still would like to have the city look at doing the project. He said he would have to get a request for proposal together for the project.

Vose said he recently had an unnamed company reach out to his office discussing possible involvement in such a program. He said he may be putting an RFP out for the project following the winter.

“I’m going to shoot for March or April, early spring,” Vose said.

The city engineer told the council last summer that the project may entail replacing more than 800 street lights in the city.

Vose said the street lights would be replaced with more modern 60 to 120-watt LED lights. He said the payback time in the program would be 10 years — about $150,000 annually. He said he felt the city Department of Public Works could do most of the work inhouse. The city would take ownership of the arms and lights. National Grid would still own the poles, he said. The project may get done in a shorter time if done in-house, he said.

The response time is going to be “significantly faster” Vose said, if it involves the normal DPW staff.

Several council members in August expressed enthusiasm about getting involved in the street light program.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

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