The City of Ypsilanti is getting rid of it's old mercury-vapor streetlights in favor of new and more energy-efficient LED models.
In this week's installment of Issues of the environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber about the financial and environmental impacts of the switch.
- According to an ordinance recently approved by the Ypsilanti City Council, property owners in Ypsilanti will soon be required to cover the cost of switching the city’s streetlights to LED lighting, funded through a special assessment district.
- LED lighting is not only more energy efficient than the older mercury lighting, but the transition is expected to also save Ypsilanti over $100,000 annually in energy costs.
- Since the LED transition was first suggested strong citizen opposition to the special assessment district has been ongoing, and in response the Ypsilanti City Council has drastically curtailed the costs and duration of the tax.
- Although Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber originally opposed the special assessment as a “regressive tax”, he has said he believes the fiscal savings the LEDs would provide over time make the transition a necessary step in chipping away at the city’s substantial general fund deficit.