Agreement paves way for LED switch

Naugatuck Controller Robert Butler, left, and Public Works Director Jim Stewart discuss the plan to change the streetlights in the borough over to LED lights Tuesday during the Board of Mayor and Burgesses meeting at Town Hall. The board approved a $1.2 million lease purchase agreement for the lights. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The borough is making the move to energy-efficient street lighting.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses Tuesday night unanimously approved a seven-year, $1.2 million lease purchase agreement to pay for light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights.

Under the contract, the borough will replace all of the roughly 1,800 streetlights in town with energy-efficient LED lights. The switch also means the borough will take ownership of the streetlights, which are currently owned by Eversource Energy, officials said.

Controller Robert Butler said the lease agreement, which is through TCF Equipment Finance, comes with a 2.75 percent rate.

“We are at a point where, if we don’t execute this this month, the interest is going to go up further,” Butler told the board.

The $1.2 million also includes the cost of 20 security cameras that can be attached to any of the streetlights in the borough.

The borough budgets $265,000 annually for streetlights, which includes electricity and maintenance of the lights. The change to the LED streetlights is expected to save about $200,000 a year, according to Butler. The borough plans to use the savings to pay off the $1.2 million agreement and once it’s paid off, the borough will realize the savings.

The board also unanimously approved a $676,000 contract with Energy Services Co., or ESCO, of Lenox, Mass., to install the streetlights throughout the borough. The contract includes one year of maintenance on the lights.

Public Works Director Jim Stewart said the borough has been working with Eversource Energy in anticipation of making the switch. Eversource sent the borough a list of where the streetlights are located, he said, but there are 31 on the list that don’t exist.

Stewart said the borough is working with Eversource to remediate the discrepancy and the work to install the LED lights will move forward once that is completed.

Burgess Dorothy Hoff asked whether the borough could look into getting rid of some of the streetlights rather than replacing them.

“I think we have too many lights out there now,” Hoff said.

Stewart said about 20 streetlights will be removed, but he didn’t think it was necessary to study the matter further.

“At this point we didn’t feel it was worth the time to study it and get people going and end up probably where we were before, especially when we could save the amount of money we are saving,” Stewart said.

Since some of the lights will have video cameras mounted on them, Butler said, the borough wants to make sure all possible lights are upgraded.

“If we don’t do all the lights we may run into situations where we don’t own that pole, we don’t own that light, so we can’t switch and put a video camera where we want there to be a video camera,” Butler said.