Gardiner elected officials are expected to consider on Wednesday a proposal to take over the city’s streetlights and converting them to energy-efficient LED versions.

Earlier this month, Augusta city officials said they are considering buying the city’s streetlights from Central Maine Power and converting them to LED lights. The city identified Affinity LED Lighting of Dover, New Hampshire, through a request-for-proposals process, as the vendor they would use for the lights.

Affinity, in turn, has extended an offer for its services to municipalities in region, including Gardiner with its 500 sodium street lights.

With the proposal comes an estimated cost of nearly $300,000 to pay for the acquisition of the lights from CMP, as well as the conversion; it probably would be paid for with bonds. The annual savings would be about $70,000.

The cost of operating Gardiner’s streetlights now is calculated to be a little more than $86,000 each year. After the conversion, the annual cost would be a little more than $10,000.

Tony LaPlante, Gardiner public works director, said the effect of the conversion would be significant.

“The payback is about three years,” he said. “The lights would use less electricity. Plus, we would own (them) and not be leasing them.”

In its proposal to Gardiner, Affinity estimates the conversion would result in about a two-thirds decrease in the use of electricity — and a related drop in the carbon dioxide emissions from generating that electricity.

“The technology has improved,” LaPlante said, “and I think that the product that is available is appealing.”

Catharine Hartnett, spokeswoman for CMP, said the company has a program through which it will work with municipalities on upgrading streetlights at the municipalities’ request, and it’s currently working with about a dozen communities now.

“We have a project team and strategies for the towns as they get in touch with us,” Hartnett said. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”

A call to Affinity LED Lighting was not returned immediately Monday.

State legislation and rules changes at the state Public Utilities Commission two years ago have made municipal ownership of streetlights possible; before then, CMP was under no obligation to sell its streetlights.

If the City Council agrees, public hearings would be scheduled for the Dec. 19 and Jan. 9, 2019, meetings.

City elected officials also are expected to:

• Conduct a public hearing and consider approving a junkyard permit renewal for Brown’s Exit 27 Salvage;

• Conduct a public hearing and consider approving a liquor license renewal for BPO Elks No. 1293;

• Conduct a public hearing and consider a second and final reading of the city’s second Moratorium Ordinance on adult-use marijuana establishments;

• Conduct a public hearing and consider a first reading of proposed changes to the E911 Ordinance;

• Recognize election clerks Patricia McLaughlin, Barbara Pelletier, Jerome Maschino and Cathy Pelletier for their years of service;

• Recognize the Gardiner Board of Trade as the 2018 Spirit of America recipient;

• Consider approving the requested Maine Department of Transportation construction overlimit permit and allow the city manager to sign it;

• Hear an update from LaPlante on road and sidewalk projects;

• Consider approving the proposed schedule for upcoming meetings in 2019; and

• Consider approving the minutes from the Nov. 7 council meeting.

The council meets at 6 p.m. in the City Council chamber at Gardiner City Hall, at 6 Church St.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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