BARKER - Plans to bond $29,000 and to start the replacement of streetlights in the village with LED lights from the New York Power Authority took another step forward this week.

Village trustees voted unanimously on Monday to advance the LED Smart Streetlighting project in partnership with the power authority to decline a plan put forward by National Grid.

The cost estimates for both plans were tallied in March. National Grid projected a savings of $1,900 annually on the village’s electric bill if the municipality replaced its streetlights with LED lights through the utility company's program.

The power authority's savings estimate came in at $4,800 annually, but requires a 12-year waiting period before any savings are realized under the financing agreement.

Trustee Aaron Davis described the National Grid plan as a "turn-key project," but said it came with added maintenance cost.  

“Even though our electric bill would be lower, per month and annually, they still are adding in a $3,000 cost a year as a maintenance upkeep," he said. 

The power authority plan requires the authority to buy the components of the new LED lighting from National Grid, as well as engineering costs to ensure a better lifespan for the lights, which will be financed by the village. 

There will not be an increase to village residents' electric bills during the project time period because of the financing plan put in place, Davis said. 

“We don’t have to come up with any extra money through the municipality for this project,” he said. “It’s already established into our generic costs, and that’s how they’re projecting it out for in 12 years we’ll be paid off.”

The $29,000 bond, Davis said, is required from National Grid to move forward with the village’s plan to switch providers, as security that the project is completed.

In bigger towns with more lights, the initial bonding may have “scared off” municipalities from pursuing the power authority plan, Davis said. He noted that Lockport’s initial bonding could have been more than a million dollars, but with 64 lights, Barker is a better fit for National Grid’s severance terms.

There are also variety of products such as motion sensing, gun shot detection, snow and ice detections, which could be added onto the cost of the service by the power authority, Davis said.

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