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New Florence council wants to pare street light costs

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Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

New Florence officials are exploring ways to cut the expense of powering the borough's 70 street lights, which cost about $137 each per year.

Councilwoman Kim Fuller this week suggested switching electricity providers to find a cheaper rate than the nearly $9,600 annually the borough is paying with First Energy.

Council President Kelly Luther suggested a streetlight audit and looking into passing on the cost of street lights and fire hydrants to residents.

Neighboring community Bolivar recently adopted a budget that eliminated its fire hydrant expense. Borough officials will ask Highridge Water Authority to charge residents up to $21 a year to cover the cost.

“It's something to talk about,” Luther said. “We take $800 a month out of liquid fuels (for street lights). We've got to start getting creative. We've always been able to afford (street lights), but times are changing.”

Council discussed the November election, when four members' seats will be open. Councilwoman Georgia Ludwig said she plans to seek re-election, but Sharon McGinnis and Roger Sheriff said they will not. Councilman Don Jones, whose term also ends this year, did not attend the meeting.

Candidates must circulate and file nominating petitions at the Westmoreland County Courthouse by March 13 for their names to appear on the May 21 primary election ballot.

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