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City may return 300 streetlights
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McMinnville officials had an impromptu discussion about streetlights during recent budget discussions. Under consideration is the return of 300 streetlights.
The unscheduled deliberation was spearheaded by Finance Committee chairman Ken Smith after a meeting to discuss the proposed Water and Wastewater budget by interim director Bill Brock.
“If I could, I would like to go over Street Aid while Bill is here,” said Smith.
Street Aid is a state-funded enterprise system. Money is allocated by the state annually and must be used for street-related costs such as lights, paving, signs, repair, equipment, salaries, etc.
According to numbers generated by Smith:
• The fiscal-year-to-date expense on the city’s 1,924 streetlights within the Street Aid budget was $172,246 through April 30 with a projected total yearly cost of $206,695 for fiscal year 2012-13.
• Dividing the annual cost by the number of streetlights means the city spends $107.42 each year per streetlight.
• Dividing the annual cost per streetlight by 12 months equals $8.95 per streetlight each month.
• To add 300 streetlights would cost $6 per light for installation – a charge by McMinnville Electric System.
• Adding 300 lights would cost $1,800 for installation and add $32,226 annually to the budget.
• Adding 500 lights would cost $3,000 for installation and add $53,710 annually to the budget.
Smith says he estimates there will be $13,000 remaining in Street Aid at the end of fiscal year 2012-13, which could be added to streetlights for fiscal year 2013-14.
“We have $220,000 in the budget this year,” he said. “We will only spend around $207,000. That gives us $13,000 of that $32,000 that we would need to add back 300 streetlights. I think we should go ahead and increase the (streetlight) budget from $220,000 up to at least $250,000, which would give us the opportunity to add back 300.”
Smith urged Street and Sanitation Committee members Aldermen Rick Barnes and Jimmy Bonner to consider the request. Alderman Billy Wood, who is also on the committee, was not present during the discussion.
“I would like to throw that out to the committee that Street Aid is under budget. I think we could add back at least 300. I would like to add back 500, but I don’t know if we can do that. I think this would go a long way to improve our standing with the public if they know we are trying to put back streetlights.”
Streetlights in the proposed Street Aid budget for fiscal year 2013-14 was adjusted to $250,000. However, the amount could be reduced or increased pending the state’s contribution and as the budget discussion continues.