The City of Lloydminster is looking at replacing the current set of streetlights with energy efficient LED lights, and is asking ATCO to pony up more money to do so.
During Monday’s council meeting, councillors approved an increase of 0.5 per cent, from 10.5 to 11 per cent for franchising fees to ATCO Electric.
The decision to increase the franchise fee came down to the ultimate decision of replacing the streetlights in the city, according to Coun. Ken Baker.
“Someone has to pay for the power and the streetlights ... and we want to change the lighting system to LED lighting,” he said.
Baker said that this would reduce the cost of operating the streetlights in the city.
“It costs a certain amount of money to install them initially, but will cost less money to operate them,” he said.
The councillor added that at the end of day, “Even if we saved 40 per cent on electrical power ... I think it’s a healthy saving.” That saving would come back to the city, according to Baker.
Franchise fees are what utility companies pay to use the city’s rightof- ways, according to Baker.
“ATCO provides services to the city, and they are able to use the right-of-ways that belong to the city. The right-of-ways have gas lines and power lines.”
Baker said the franchise fee that is given to the city comes from the sale of power.
He also added that the fees can also go back to the city in the form of cutting grass around the rightof- ways, and other upkeep the city does.
“There are miles of right-of-ways in the city and they have to be looked after properly,” said Baker.
Baker, who introduced the motion, said that the small increase would not hurt the taxpayers of the community.
Alan Cayford, director of public works, said that the franchise fee is a small portion of the overall power bill that taxpayers see.
“In an average power bill for someone that is using 625 kilowatts hours per month, based on the July rates is about 49 cents on your power bill,” he said.