South Glengarry wants to own LED streetlights in proposed Glen Walter conversion

In this March 2019, file photo, a section of Sabourin Drive in Glen Walter, Ont. is filled with an orange glow from sodium fired streetlights. South Glengarry wants to own the infrastructure if it strikes a deal with Cornwall Electric for a $290,000 upgrade to LED. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

GLEN WALTER – If South Glengarry wants to upgrade Glen Walter streetlights to LEDs, it wants to own the equipment as well.

South Glengarry councillors came to that consensus last week as they looked at the $289,244 cost to convert the streetlights to the energy-saving lighting alternative.

Most of South Glengarry already had its streetlights changed over to LED. Those were on Hydro One. But the last holdout to old technology is Glen Walter, which is serviced and owned by Cornwall Electric.

South Glengarry has been trying to get an agreement with Cornwall Electric for more than a-year-and-a-half.

The township estimates the upgrade will pay for itself in three years with an estimated energy savings of 62 per cent annually, similar to what it saw with the conversion of the Hydro One lights.

The 364 streetlights cost $197,923 a year to operate right now.

Since residents where the lights are located pay for them, Infrastructure GM Ewen MacDonald told council there is a “strong business case” to convert them.

Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden says, if the municipality was going to pay for the upgrade, they should “remain an asset of the municipality.”

Coun. Sam McDonell agreed. “I’d like to see this as an asset in our balance sheets at the end of the day, since we’re paying for it,” he said.

Coun. Stephanie Jaworski says there are still details to iron out but “we need to press forward on.” Jaworski hopes the LED would be more reliable, given there has been complaints about reliability of lighting in the Glen Walter area.

South Glengarry will now submit a proposal to Cornwall Electric as the negotiations continue.

An agreement with terms and conditions will come back to a future council meeting.

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