Mayor proposing ‘smart’ lighting for Cohoes streets

Albany County
Street light

Street light. (Manuel Will / Unsplash)

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler is proposing installing energy-efficient “smart” lights on city streets, along with investing financial gains into “Restore Historic Cohoes” initiatives.

“This project is a win, win, win for taxpayers and the environment. We save energy by converting to LED street lights. We generate funds to invest in additional energy savings upgrades to our historic city buildings. And, we benefit from an anticipated $50,000 average annual city budget savings for 20 years,” Keeler said.

The Cohoes Common Council is set to discuss this “Cleaner Greener Cohoes” initiative at their regular meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. A public comment section starts each meeting. Cohoes residents can get involved by registering online or calling (312) 757-3121 with the access code 438-624-629.

Keeler says converting lighting infrastructure to LED bulbs will let officials improve City Hall. Savings from the energy-efficient updates can be reallocated to upgrading city-owned buildings as part of “Restore Historic Cohoes.”

“Reinvesting some of this savings is the smart thing to do. We have an obligation to preserve our historic city buildings that have been neglected for far too long. For example, windows in City Hall are literally falling out. During the recent blizzard, snow piled up inside on many of the window sills. Investing some of the cost savings from the street light conversion project into our window restoration project will pay off in many ways,” Mayor Keeler said.

cohoes city hall

All-told, converting the 1,598 High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs to LEDs will cost about $1.6 million dollars. The lights themselves will cost about $920,000, for a final projected budget of about $2.5 million. Officials estimate the savings to amount to roughly $9 million over the next 20 years, and Keeler says $3 million ought to go toward upgrading municipal buildings.

The proposal will be taken up by the Common Council on Tuesday, with a vote scheduled for January 26. Buying the street lights would also require approval from the state Public Service Commission. The program could begin this year if the proposal is approved.

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