9:02 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Street light audit could reap big rewards

An audit is underway of the thousands of city street lights, many of which are not working. The review could return hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Buffalo treasury.

City Comptroller Mark Schroeder says a previous audit of street lights brought $2 million to the city.

The issue of street lights which don't work is familiar to city residents and those who work or are just passing through.

What makes this an issue isn't just the safety problem of a light which doesn't light but the city pays for electricity as if the light worked.

Now, the city has hired consultant Troy & Banks to audit the lights.

"Some 20 years ago, the Common Council also was interested in this type of audit/analysis," said City Comptroller Mark Schroeder.

"The City of Buffalo back then hired a professional consultant very adroit in understanding National Grid and others who provide this service. So, we did an RFP, a request for proposal."

Schroeder says he hopes the city does as well this time as it did 20 years ago when $2 million were retrieved from what was then Niagara-Mohawk. Troy & Banks gets a piece of the savings.

The comptroller says the audit might take six months to cover all of the city streets and count the lights.