Red tape is holding up a bright way to cost-save in Warfield and two other small communities.
For the past three years the village has been in discussions with FortisBC about converting 80 street lights into LED lamps.
Warfield pays roughly $77,000 to light up municipal streets using conventional fixtures, so considerable dollars are expected to be saved using LEDs which are energy efficient and require less maintenance.
So what’s the hold up?
Mayor Diane Langman says along with new lights come new rates, and any respective changes must first be approved by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC).
“The unique circumstances were that, the Village of Warfield does not actually own the poles or the light heads, FortisBC does,” Langman told the Trail Times.
“FortisBC has stated that they have decided which lights they want to upgrade to, however, the difficulty is the company has put in an application with the BCUC as they need to make rate changes as well,” she added.
“So the process has really been tied up.”
Warfield is waiting to hear back from the BCUC as to when and if they will be holding a public hearing, Langman said.
“In the meantime, we have learned that both Kaslo and Salmo are in the same situation as us.”
The three municipalities are planning a meeting to talk about the situation and collectively try to get some answers.
Langman says the meeting is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 5, afterward she is hoping to have some details to pass on to Warfield residents.
“(At first) FortisBC was delayed in their decision on which lights, as they were running a pilot project with a few different LED light heads in Kelowna,” she explained.
“So we are eager for the project to progress, as this was something brought forward by residents in the IOCP (Integrated Official Community Plan) for the village to continue to pursue.”