Facts on new city LED lights
I know that ship has sailed with the 3-1 vote in favor of the new lights. I’ve been researching some facts and something doesn’t make sense. If you look at the facts and figures your head will swim. I got a headache from trying to understand the presentation. Let me start by stating that in March, Mr. Crowder stated our general fund will be wiped out by the end of the fiscal year. Mayor Smith said, “It’s not yet time to panic”, and “It’s definitely a problem, but I wouldn’t call it a crisis”. Well fellow citizens, we are in trouble and a tax increase is on the horizon. The way money has been spent since the “spending freeze” was enacted, you would think there is no financial crisis. The city borrowed $5 million for tornado clean up, spent $100,000 on a street light survey and trips here there and back for fire certification. Now $3.2 million for the LED lights. Based on the number of lights the PATH representative gave us the cost is nearly $750 per light installed. In January, the PATH representative said the LED light will save $400,000 paid to the CLW. That’s a lot of money taken from the budget of the department. Will that mean we’ll have a rate increase to make up the loss of revenue? I’m all about savings but, what’s the rush, when a loan is necessary?
I don’t mean to nit pick, but in January 2019 the cost was $2.8 million. Now it’s $3.2. We pay $515,000 to CLW annually now, but according to PATH the new LED savings is $396,000. The first year cost is $119,000 to operate them. My question is, due to our finances would it not be better to replace as needed? Where does the CLW figure in? Can they not install them? How much money is J5 going to make out of this wonderful money-saving deal? At 6 percent that’s $197,000. No a bad day’s work for supervising the supervisor, if you know what I mean. Then on top of J5’s fee, the attorney’s fee for bonds and loans are about 10 percent.
Everyone’s getting a cut and the taxpayers are paying the tab. I’m just one citizen and transparency is not in the city’s vocabulary. Too much is going on behind closed doors. I want more OPEN government from MY city.
God Bless America!
Lee Roy Lollar
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.