Proposal For New Village Street Lights Discussed

LAKEWOOD — The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a measure to draft a letter in the next step of a proposal process to convert current street light fixtures in the village into more energy efficient LED fixtures.

All lights in the village would remain dark-sky compliant, meaning light pollution will be kept to a minimum. The white light of LED bulbs uses less energy than traditional street lights.

National Grid will now be authorized to convert the current cobra-head style street lighting fixtures into the LED fixtures in conjunction with a proposal made possible by a $27,019 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority grant. This phase will make LED lighting possible in the streets, and remaining funds can be used to update village building infrastructure.

An energy audit earlier in the year revealed how the three village buildings could be updated. NYSERDA provided $5,278 of the $10,555 audit while the village paid for the remainder. More energy efficient lighting could be installed indoors.

In other news, it was also announced that the refueling facility newly installed and shared between the village and the Southwestern Central School District is now being used by both parties. An intermunicipal agreement between the entities will be reviewed regarding use and operation of the fuel station at 5 Packard Ave. Deputy Mayor Ted McCague discussed possibly hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the station once the agreement is finalized.

“We are using the fuel out of it as we speak,” Department of Public Works Supervisor Tom Pilling said.

The shared facility was a project in the making for both the village public services and school district this year, as the facility should make school transportation more reliable and alleviate the rising costs of petroleum with the new 10,000-gallon tank replacing the two 1,000-gallon tanks previously used. In September, Pilling said the tank will be able to store 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 3,000 gallons of unleaded fuel.

For the village and school district combined, a total of 91 vehicles will utilize the new tank to maximize fuel efficiency. Benefits cited include lower municipal expenses for fuel, a reduction in taxpayer costs for transportation services and getting rid of the need for both entities to have their own fuel reserves.

President Jim Cirbus of the Chautauqua Lake Partnership spoke up during the meeting’s open forum to request the board to authorize them to follow through in obtaining a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to potentially treat Lakewood waters with herbicides early this in 2019. He said the CLP’s goal is to start all permit processes for the lakefront villages and towns before the end of the year.

Cirbus noted that a village vote would not bind Lakewood to any payment or use of herbicides. CLP plans to pay for all permits, totaling more than $2,000 for all municipalities. They hope to combat invasive weed species in the water if necessary in late April or early May instead of June like SOLitude Lake Management was able to treat this year in Ellery, Busti and North Harmony waters.

The trustees voted unanimously to allow the permit process to begin. They stated being OK with the matter since the decision was not binding in any way. When the questions of funding or approving treatments arise in 2019, the trustees can choose to vote in any way they choose. Cirbus plans on visiting the town of Busti with a similar proposal next week.

The village board continued to applaud the efforts of local business owners, who will be hosting Christmas in the Village on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Volunteer David Card promoted the event on behalf of Bob Lingle, the event organizer and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore owner.

“Everything is coming together quite well,” Card said.

Since the next normally scheduled village board meeting would have fallen on Christmas Eve, that meeting was cancelled unanimously by the board. The next meeting of the board of trustees will take place Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 after a 6 p.m. annual organizational meeting.