June 23, 2018

National Grid Will Not Hold East Providence Taxpayers Hostage

Posted by bfariaward4

The LED Streetlights issue is a very important issue to the taxpayers of East Providence. 

Over one year after the city requested a quote to purchase the city streetlights, National Grid provided the city with an outrageous figure which is totally out of line with the smaller amount of money which other cities have been demanded to pay.

National Grid's failure to comply with the Municipal Streetlights Investment Act (MSIA) has been frustrating. Their quotes have been inconsistent. While several municipalities are purchasing their lights for $0-$50,000, East Providence is being quoted $300,000. Rhode Island General Law 39-30-3(b) requires that the price of the purchase of street lights be calculated by net book value. The method for calculation of net book value by National Grid is wildly inconsistent. “The City of Cranston paid $4500.00 for 9700 lights but is asking $300,000.00 for less than 5000 Streetlights from The City of East Providence”. Why? That is the definitive question that has not been answered.

MSIA is construed to save municipalities money. The Municipal Streetlights Investment Act was created to save the taxpayers from burdensome electric costs. Every delay in the purchase and conversion of our lights causes us to continue to pay National Grid monies which should be realized savings, these monies unjustly benefit the corporation at the expense of East Providence taxpayers. East Providence is ready to move forward with LED street lighting and we deserve a fair price.

“To date, there has been no rhyme or reason to their calculations and I believe it’s a travesty how they’ve been holding us up,” continued Councilman Faria, “The City of East Providence will not be held hostage by National Grid. We will be filing a petition with the Public Utility Commission to provide the city with a fair and reasonable price for the purchase of our city streetlights.”

The savings to the tax payers are substantial and are a lifetime annual savings all while safely brightening up our City. The city is fully bonded and conversion ready to do so. Therefore, the city will be taking the following measures; filing a petition with the PUC under the Municipal Streetlights Investment Act, presenting our argument to the PUC and the PUC will render a decision within 90 days. I want to assure all the taxpayers, we will see this through.

Brian Faria
City Councilman

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