TOWN OF SALINA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – You ask we answer!

Usually, questions from our viewers have the Your Stories Team going to town and village leaders to get an answer — but our latest Q&A had a local town hall asking a question to the YS Team.

The Town of Salina wants to know why it’s on the hook to put up streetlights that National Grid takes down.

According to the Town’s Planning and Development Director, Mark Lafaver, the town owns its streetlights. The lights are attached to National Grid utility poles.

Lafaver said when National Grid replaces its own poles, crews put the light on the ground but don’t reattach it to the new pole once it’s up.          

He said it’s happened about eight times in the past year and each time, the town has to pay a contractor to reinstall the light.

Lafaver said it cost the town a few thousand dollars to hire a contractor, an expense paid for with tax money.

The Your Stories Team took the Town of Salina’s question to National Grid. The utility company’s Strategic Communications Manager, Jared Paventi, sent the following statement:

When a municipality purchases the streetlights in their community from National Grid, the purchase and sales agreements state that the government entity will assume all costs for construction, maintenance, and electricity supply. Municipally owned streetlights are considered third-party attachments to National Grid utility poles, not unlike equipment owned by telecommunications companies. When National Grid replaces one of its poles for any reason, it is the responsibility of the attacher to reinstall their equipment. National Grid does not install, repair or replace equipment belonging to others due to liability concerns.

On a related note, National Grid is regulated by the New York State Department of Public Service and realizes no profit from the sale of streetlights, as they are sold to the municipality at their net book value.

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