Consumers Energy Removing Some Streetlights in Nims, Campbell Neighborhoods

Andrew Trzaska | June 15, 2011

To save the city money, Consumers Energy will be removing certain streetlights in the Nims and Campbell neighborhoods of Muskegon.

According to Mohammed Al-Shatel, Director of Public Works for the city, Muskegon and Consumers Energy have identified approximately 3,100 streetlights, not all of which are operational but all of which use old, energy-sucking lights.

Consumers Energy technically owns the streetlights in Muskegon but the city has to pay  the bills to operate them.

In an agreement with the City of Muskegon, Consumers Energy will remove mid-block lights in the neighborhoods as long as the remaining lights still comply with certain criteria laid down by the city.

Among those criteria, operational lights must be placed at certain increments (every 300 or 400 feet on major roads, 500 feet on local streets), and 2 operational lights at major intersections and 1 at all others.

The city is expected to save $6,000 a year with the reduced electric bill.

City Commissioner Larry Spataro inquired during Tuesday’s City Commission meeting about the costs needed to upgrade to more energy-efficient lights, including LEDs.

Al-Shatel noted that while Consumers Energy would foot the bill to remove lights and reduce the city’s power burden, the city would have to pay Consumers to upgrade the lights.

In the end, city staff deemed to cost of improving the equipment was not great enough to foot the bill with the city’s current finances.

The council deemed the proposal worthy, voting unanimously to remove the lights.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst