A Langley Township project to replace more than 7,000 street lights with energy-efficient LEDs will move ahead soon, unless residents petition to stop it.
The LED Street Lighting Conversion project was approved as part of this year’s municipal budget.
Right now, the Township owns and maintains more than 7,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights from Aldergrove to Walnut Grove.
The lights annually use 17,000 gigajoules of electricity and consume about $600,000 ever year in electricity and maintenance costs.
Replacing them will slash energy use by approximately half and result in less required maintenance.
The Township anticipates saving $380,000 a year.
However, to rapidly replace all the lights, the Township has to borrow $4.392 million in a 20-year loan.
Loans of that length can be overturned by a petition process by local voters.
During the Township budget debates, staff pointed out that the LED replacement will pay for itself, since it will save more money than will be spent on interest on the loan.
The annual principal and interest to pay back the 20-year loan is anticipated at $272,352, well below the $380,000 in expected savings on electricity and maintenance.
However, if enough voters sign a petition, they can block the loan and stop the project.
To stop the Township borrowing funds, individual Township residents have to fill out an Elector Response Form and send it to the Township. The process is explained online at tol.ca/news/aap-process-2020.
A total of 10 per cent of eligible electors have to sign response forms to stop a borrowing project like this one. Based on the number of eligible voters in the Township, that means 8,545 people would have to fill out the forms to stop the project.
The deadline to fill in the form is 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28.