Streetlight program Middletown considers streetlight buy-back program [The Frederick News-Post, Md. :: ]
(Frederick News-Post (MD) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 25--MIDDLETOWN -- Burgess John Miller and the commissioners agreed Monday to examine a proposal from Johnson Controls that would allow Middletown to buy about 7,000 streetlights from Potomac Edison to be replaced with energy-efficient lights.
Middletown spends $14 to $17 per light per month for electricity and maintenance on nearly 1,000 lights. Replacing the high-intensity-discharge luminaries with light-emitting diode bulbs would generate $15,000 in annual energy savings for Middletown and eliminate $100,000 in annual costs to operate the lights, Johnson Controls' Heston Crandon and Eboni Wimbush told the Town Council at Monday's public meeting.
Johnson Controls not only guarantees the project's technical and financial performance, but the plan would also reduce Middletown's cost to own, operate and maintain the streetlights while eliminating the need to raise new capital, Wimbush and Crandon said, adding that the project would be paid for from operational budget savings.
Johnson Controls, a worldwide company, has been implementing similar plans for many years, Wimbush said. The company has 35 active projects in Maryland, one of which is with Frederick Community College, and others with Montgomery and Carroll counties and the city of Baltimore.
"Only 1 percent of the people we offer this proposal to decide not to proceed due to, for example, a new board coming on, or a decision to move in another direction," Wimbush said.
The Town Council agreed to allow Johnson Controls to draft a project development agreement that would let Middletown contractually engage the company to develop a proposal for implementing the recommended scope of work.
If Middletown doesn't want to pursue the project after Johnson Controls completes the proposal, the company wants a $36,000 payment for time spent developing the plan, Wimbush said.
The town's budget for fiscal 2015 proposes a 5 percent payroll increase for Middletown's 12 employees, but the proposal will be discussed later, and other factors, such as employee evaluations, will play into which employees will qualify for the pay increase, Town Administrator Andrew Bowen said.
The town's fiscal 2014 budgeted revenue for the general fund was $2,761,951. Anticipated revenue for fiscal 2015 is $2,745,347.
The reduction in revenue is attributed to assessments not going up, and tax revenue from businesses has not increased, Bowen said.
Water and sewer revenue for fiscal 2014 is $1,221,322; anticipated revenue for fiscal 2015 is $1,170,885.
A reduction in water and sewer revenue is due to no rate increase and residents' use of less water each year, Bowen said.
"Using less water is a good thing," Bowen said, "but it also means less revenue."
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