LANCASTER, Ontario – At a Special Meeting of South Glengarry Council on Friday, Jan. 24, Councillor Sam McDonell raised the idea of the Township not paying their bill to Cornwall Electric in order to bring the utility to the table.
At issue is the Township’s desire to switch the street lights in Glen Walter to more efficient LED bulbs. To do that however, the Township needs the cooperation of Cornwall Electric, who own the light poles.
According to Councillor McDonell, the Township reached out to Cornwall Electric in the spring of 2019 to talk about switching the lights over, they were told to expect a response by the fall, but have yet to hear an answer and their phone calls and emails have been left unanswered.
South Glengarry wants to switch the street lights in Glen Walter to more efficient LEDs to exploit potentially significant cost savings.
The Township has already switched over the street lights in the rest of the municipality to LEDs, those lights are on Hydro One poles.
The total cost of that project was $226,421.40, with an estimated cost savings thanks to energy efficiency of 69 per cent. Hydro One made the switch to LEDs in South Glengarry four years ago, and in the first three years, the Township collected $259,131.73 in savings.
McDonell explained that by not coming to the table, Cornwall Electric is costing the Township and the taxpayers money.
“The big issue is this is a real savings that once we have transferred maintenance and future replacement cost to reserves we can then pass that savings along to rate payers, who in fact have these lights worked into their property taxes. It’s a true savings we miss out on every month we pay the bill and Cornwall Electric doesn’t come to the table,” he said in an email to Seaway News.
South Glengarry Council directed General Manager of Corporate Services Lachlan MacDonald to write a report on the repercussions the Township could face for not paying their bill to Cornwall Electric and submit it to Council for their consideration.
Seaway News reached out to Jacqueline Baird, Regional Manager of Cornwall Electric for comment, but did not receive one as of time of publication.