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Pictou County council sticking with shift to LED streetlights

PICTOU – County council is standing behind its decision to change all of its streetlights to LED.

Coun. Peter Boyles expressed concerns Monday during a property services meeting about the length of time it takes to get repairs done to the lights, but county staff said it is better than what was in place in the past in many ways.

Staff said lights can now be located through a GPS tracking system to determine where new ones need to be installed and current ones need repairs. For the most part, repair work is done under warranty, but there was one instance recently where crews were sent out to repair a light and it wasn’t necessary so the county was charged $450 for the service call.

County council approved a tender for the purchase and installation of almost 2,000 streetlights in its jurisdiction in November 2015 that replaced the existing lights and fixtures with new LED models.

The conversion is costing $1.37 million. It has partnered with the towns of Trenton and Pictou on the tender so the entire cost for all three municipal units is $1.96 million. Staff said there can be delays in getting some of the light repairs done on a timely basis because crews would not be called in to fix just one light, but rather would repair a few at a time.

Warden Robert Parker agreed that timely repairs is an issue and it would be a good idea for staff to let residents who file a complaint know of an anticipated wait time.

He said the savings overall for the county are worth working out a few issues in the new system. Staff said repair times for streetlights under the old system were also long.

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