MOUNT VERNON — Earlier this week, Mayor Richard Mavis and city officials met with representatives from American Electric Power to discuss the unexpected cost of the city’s streetlight bill for 2010.
Mavis explained the streetlights are owned by the power company but the light usage is paid by the city. The amount appropriated for the streetlights failed to meet the charge for lighting last year throwing up a red flag for the city.
The total amount paid in 2010 for streetlights, not including the cost of stop lights and building lights, was $202,978 — an average monthly cost of $16,914.84. The amount comes at a 13.8 percent increase from 2009 when the city paid $178,374.
“One of the things we found out at the meeting was that the power company had approved three annual increases over the past three years, and when you add that amount together it would have accumulated to a higher amount than we anticipated for our budget in 2010. We were also told that there had been an increase in coal charge,” said Mavis.
AEP maintains the streetlights and makes all necessary repairs if a light goes out or if there is a problem.
The city did ask about the possibility of LED lights, which are said to be cost saving and more efficient, AEP said they are looking into the possibility as tests are being conducted in other areas.