MEXICO — New streetlights could soon line Mexico roads in the coming months, replacing existing lamps with energy-efficient LED fixtures.
Unlike other towns in Maine doing so, though, the Mexico Board of Selectmen is looking to go through Central Maine Power Co. for the conversion project in order to avoid maintenance responsibilities and costs.
Town Manager Jack Gaudet said Thursday there will be a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15 to see if the town will enter into a 15-year contract with a CMP proposal to change over the town’s streetlights to LED.
Tasha Raymond, key account manager for CMP, will be present to answer questions about the program.
The public hearing will take place downstairs in the Town Hall. If approved by voters, the select board would then vote to go forward with the program at the regular board member that follows.
Gaudet said the town currently leases 317 street lights from CMP. He said the town paid more than $51,000 for street lights in 2017. The potential cost savings with LEDs will be more than $12,400, or around 25 percent.
He said there’s already pilot towns set to go with this program in the first quarter of 2019. “If we get this done fairly quicky, we could get into the second quarter of the year.”
Last month, Gaudet and Selectman Cliff Steward met with CMP to discuss the proposal to change over the town’s streetlights to LED.
At the selectmen’s meeting on Dec. 14, Board Chair Richard Philbrick asked what Stewart thought about the proposal.
Stewart responded, “It seems like one of those it’s too good to be true. According to the CMP representative, there’s no upfront cost. There’s no cost to the town at all. They’ll just come and replace your lights, and the lights are cheaper to lease, and use less electricity.
He concluded, “There’s a savings on both sides.”
Philbrick asked, “So we don’t have to pay anything even when they change it?”
Stewart said they only downside was the length of the contract. “If there was other companies in the area, we might be a little hesistant, but CMP is only company in the area now and the foreseeable future.”
Philbrick said, “In the future, this is going to save us, so I think this is best way to go.”
Gaudet said CMP is looking at it as a savings to them from the maintenance side because the LEDs last longer.
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