PARRSBORO - Town council is moving ahead with a complete switchover to LED streetlights, and promises that borrowing $213,000 for the project will save Parrsboro money in the long- and short-term.
Council agreed at its Feb. 28 monthly session to take the step, with CAO Ray Hickey to gather additional information from Nova Scotia Power before finalizing the move.
"The province has mandated that every municipality must have LED street lighting by 2015 and there are two options, either Nova Scotia Power will do it for the municipality for a fee or the municipality will do it on its own," explained deputy mayor Lisa Ward.
After researching the matter, CAO Ray Hickey proposed the town purchase and install its own LED street lights at a cost of $213,000, which would be financed over a 10-year period by the Municipal Finance Corporation. He pointed out that the town would be saving $15,000 per year, even with the power bill and the cost of borrowing.
The town now pays $60,000 per year for the use of the lights, which are owned by Nova Scotia Power. That payment is a straight fee, no matter how much energy the lights use. The new arrangement will see the town own the new LED lights, and pay Nova Scotia Power for the energy they use.
The loan payments and the cost of the power used by the LED lights would cost the town about $45,000 per year, according to Hickey.
"Everything to power the town would be about $45,000 a year, as opposed to the $60,000 we pay now, and we would have lights that are mandated by the province anyway by 2015," said Hickey, who indicated that the cost of the switchover would be higher if they waited until then.
Mayor Lois Smith said some might be alarmed to see the town spending such a large amount of money, but that they need to look at the long-term benefits. Ward agreed.
"It's a benefit to everybody because, even if we're paying for the loan and the lights, it's still $15,000 cheaper for us," said Ward. "$15,000 is better in our pockets than somebody else's."