Power authority official addresses panel

Jessica Waldorf of the New York Power Authority, left, speaks about LED lighting to the Fulton County Shared Services Panel Monday at the County Office Building in Johnstown. To her left is Ephratah Supervisor Todd Bradt. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — A New York Power Authority official told the Fulton County Shared Services Panel this week that her agency will continue working with the county’s municipalities interested in an LED replacement project.

Jessica Waldorf, NYPA senior business development representative, addressed the panel Monday at the County Office Building.

Some of the officials present at the panel’s meeting said their municipality will be working with National Grid instead. Monday’s meeting mainly centered on an LED street lighting conversion project by the NYPA.

“I propose that we concentrate on LED lighting,” county Administrative Officer Jon Stead told the panel.

Waldorf said NYPA can set up a time period in the last week of July or first week in August to work with the interested municipalities.

“I look forward to seeing you guys in a few weeks for a final design kickoff meeting,” she said.

Waldorf said the design process for LED projects may take four to six months, with “construction” involving LED lighting in the municipalities to follow.

New York state in 2017 mandated that counties form shared services panels to discuss ways to save money, and submit a plan to the state showing how money could be saved by intermunicipal sharing of services. The Fulton County Shared Services Panel decided in August 2017 to give itself an extra year to find taxpayer savings and file its shared services plan with New York state in 2018.

That panel last September unanimously approved the county’s 2018 Shared Services Plan, which it forwarded to the state. The two main elements agreed to by the panel — consisting of officials from throughout Fulton County — were an LED lighting replacement project and a future tax collection software sharing initiative. The 2018 plan indicated nearly $150,000 in savings across the county over a two-year period. Savings were estimated at $81,278 for 2019 and $66,278 for 2020.

Waldorf said NYPA can group communities in a bid for a project, or the municipality can act on its own. She said NYPA provides a free proposal for some projects which involve “smart control” technology.

“We also ask you your areas of concern,” Waldorf said.

During the design process, she said it is important for NYPA to know where, for example, more lighting is needed in a certain intersection that has had many accidents.

Stead noted the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown are doing their own separate lighting work.

“The two cities are kind of ahead of us as far as lighting,” he said.

But Stead noted several other towns and villages have expressed interest in working with NYPA.

Waldorf went through the list of some of the municipalities that she said are “ready to move into design kickoff.” They include: the village of Broadalbin — 158 streets lights; and the village of Northville — 160 street lights. Agreements have been signed with both municipalities. The town of Caroga, which has 166 street lights, may have an agreement in another week or so.

Other municipalities either opting out or thinking of opting out, and staying with a National Grid option include: the town of Ephratah — 102 street lights; town of Northampton — 94 street lights; and the village of Mayfield — 102 street lights. The town of Stratford, with 18 street lights, has confirmed interest in NYPA. Several other municipalities are in the process of deciding on NYPA.

By Josh Bovee

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