Tuesday, March 04, 2008

New street lights for Hellertown?

Hellertown Borough Council agreed Monday night to study the possibility of purchasing the hundreds of streetlights in the borough.

''If we decide to participate in this streetlight purchase program we'll get a lower rate on the electric that we use,'' said Borough Manager Charlie Luthar. ''Over the long haul, it will be less expensive.''

Luthar reported that the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton all participate in the program and that he has received positive feedback concerning their participation in the program.

''We initially received a proposal concerning this a few years back and were recently contacted again,'' Luthar told council. ''At the time, we didn't think it was viable but the concept of municipal-owned utility equipment has become more popular.''

Councilwoman Jennie McKenna said that Hellertown owning the streetlights and supplementary equipment such as the poles the equipment is mounted on offers the borough a lot of potential. ''Owning the streetlights and utility poles would allow us to possibly offer wireless Internet throughout Hellertown.''

Luthar said that the proposal the borough received indicated a purchase price of approximately $550,000 for the more than 500 units. He added that these proposals are growing in popularity with smaller towns such as Hellertown.

''They're making some inroads in the smaller communities. Luthar said. ''Let's take a look at it and see if it makes sense.''

Council directed solicitor William Corriere to review the proposal and report his findings at a future meeting.

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