Town of Skaneateles buying back street lights from National Grid

Local News

SKANEATELES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Town of Skaneateles is joining the growing list of municipalities buying back street lights from their utility providers.

It’s been about three years in the making from when the Skaneateles Town Board adopted a Climate Action Plan to reduce their carbon footprint.  It also will end saving taxpayers money too.

Town Supervisor Janet Aaron says, “It made sense.  We saved toward it so we don’t have to finance it, so we’re moving forward with it, we’re really excited.”

The State Public Service Commission just gave the go-ahead to the project, that Aaron says will pay to have about a six and a half year payback.

The savings she says will amount to about $38,000 a year for people who are part of a lighting district and have this charge included on their tax bills.

“This is not the Village, it’s the rural areas. The design of that will be more related to what type of bulb we’re going to use and whether we’ll have controls on it so that through the internet we can tell when a light is out, we can have more controls on individuals lights than how pretty the fixture is,” Aaron tells NewsChannel 9.

The Town has about 268 street lights it will buy and then install their own state-of-the-art energy efficient lights to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment.

They’ve also figured out a way to reduce the cost of buying them jumping on board with the City of Syracuse which is also buying lights back from National Grid.

Aaron says, “The City of Syracuse has 17,000 street lights compared to our 268 so the bid price will be much better when we can piggyback on that.  We’re just starting with the design phase, we’re also needing to do public outreach.”

She says to look for public outreach probably late Summer or early Fall and optimistically should see the project completed by the end of the year.

The PSC is also seeking public comment on New York Electric & Gas’ petition to sell 1,094 street lights to the City of Oneonta, and National Grid’s petition to sell 288 street lights to the Village of Cazenovia.

For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9

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