Pasco says street lights could save $119K

PASCO -- Pasco could save $119,000 on its annual street light bill by replacing all its lights.

If the city replaced all 3,700 of its high-pressure sodium street lights with induction lights, it could cut energy use by about 52 percent and have lights that last three to four times longer, said Stan Strebel, deputy city manager, during Monday's Pasco City Council meeting.

The council is considering exchanging current street lights with energy efficient ones using a federal grant.

The city currently pays the Franklin PUD about $223,000 per year for electricity and maintenance for the lights.

Pasco would use the $483,000 remaining from a federal Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant and a Bonneville Power Administration rebate to replace about 1,400 street lights, Strebel said. That would save $40,000 per year.

Some induction lights were installed recently in the Desert Plateau subdivision and some on Wrigley Drive near Walmart, he said.

Councilman Saul Martinez said he took his family out to view the lights.

"It's my family's opinion that the new lights are better," he said.

Next week the council will consider asking Franklin PUD for a bid for the project to give the city options for lights and installation, Strebel said.

Also Monday:

-- Pasco is considering creating a waiver for properties when owners would pay more than their share of public infrastructure to develop their property.

The council discussed a policy for issuing building permits to property owners without having required improvements in place if the road is in the city'scapital improvement plan. Property owners still would pay their fair share of the cost when the permit is issued.

The council would determine if a project meets certain criteria, including whether the road is a collector or minor or principal arterial, the project benefits more than a single property owner and the city could recoup the cost.

The issue came up when the council decided to delay improving Crescent Road where one property owner wants to build a single-family home because none of the current methods for paying for the improvements seemed to fit.

The proposal would allow the city to commit on a case-by-case basis to constructing a public street within six years using a latecomer's agreement, said City Manager Gary Crutchfield. A latecomer's agreement gives the city a chance to recoup the cost from other property owners if they develop their property in 15 years.

It's a change from the rule where each property must provide the portion of infrastructure required to serve their property, Crutchfield said.

Councilman Al Yenney said he is concerned that the city wouldn't be reimbursed for the entire cost of a street.

But he said he planned to support the proposal. He cautioned that just because the alternative was created doesn't mean that Crescent Road can be built using it.

* Kristi Pihl: 509-582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com.