Keeping the lights glowing and bright on Rimbey’s Main Street could turn out to be an expensive proposition for the town, but council might not have to bear the brunt of the project all at once.
Stan Orlesky, General Stakeholder Relations Manager for FortisAlberta Inc., who attended Monday’s council meeting said the lights need to be replaced, a project that could cost around half a million dollars.
Even though it is an expensive project something needs to be done, said Orlesky adding the contact box lights are faulty and the cable is falling and because of the age of the lights, replacement parts are difficult to locate.
“The lights have outlived their life (span),” he said.
At a council meeting he attended in 2012, Orlesky also addressed the problem with the lights, noting the approximately 40 high pressure sodium lights have to be turned off and on manually.
The Fortis representative said the lights were originally installed by Alberta Transportation and later sold to the municipality. TransAlta took them over in the ‘90s.
An agreement with Fortis and the town states the municipality pays a non-investment rate of 16 cents per fixture for some lights and an investment rate of 57 cents per day for others.
Only the replacement of the bulbs and ballasts is included in the non-investment rate whereas replacements, repairs and maintenance is included in the investment rate.
The possibility of replacing the lights in sections such as going from the four-way stop to Esso, then completing the section from the four-way stop west to the hospital, and finally the four-way stop north of Hwy. 20A was discussed.
CAO Lucien Cloutier said he expects Orlesky will bring a proposal to him in the near future.
“He and I can discuss it at that time and then I will bring it forward to council and see where that takes us. We would want to look at lights that are more electrically efficient,” he said.
Cloutier said the issue could be part of the 2015 budget if it was brought forward before the end of the year.