Lights out! Denver tells PPL to remove streetlights

By on October 14, 2015

 

Denver Borough Council members unanimously approved invoking their contractual rights to have PPL remove its streetlights and all associated fixtures from the borough within six months of the date on their notice.

The action at the Oct. 12 council meeting follows protracted negotiations with PPL over the course of nearly two years.

Attorney Todd Stewart, who specializes in public utilities, was contracted by the borough when written requests to PPL were not being answered fully and in a timely manner. Denver is the only municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania having a grant ($227,400) to help offset costs of privatization of the borough’s 344 streetlights. Projected savings could be up to $50,000 annually.

“PPL makes a tremendous amount of money on streetlights,” said Stewart. “So, if we’re one of the first municipalities with which they deal and there could be a tsunami of 500 other municipalities who want to do the same thing then it behooves them to make this as difficult as possible.”

“Today (Oct.12) we made a courtesy call to PPL to let them know what we plan to do,” said Mike Hession, borough manager.

“PPL won’t just come in and take everything down and then things will be black?” asked Councilman Walt Fink.

“Our hope is that PPL will work cooperatively with the borough so they’ll remove fixtures as we’re installing new ones,” said Stewart. “If PPL has some things (fixtures or equipment) that they’d like to sell to us, they need to decide that and make us an offer. The contract terminates in six months and then PPL starts to take lights out.”

Council generated several suggestions for agenda items for the Regional Leaders meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m., at the East Cocalico Township Municipal Building, 100 Hill Road.

“I’d like to know from Dr. Sensenig (Cocalico School District superintendent) where we are on the school resource officer idea for Cocalico,” said Council Vice President Mike Gensemer.

Junior Council Member Ken Wallace reported that he’d not had an opportunity to schedule time to speak with school administration regarding his, as well as other students support, for a school resource officer.

Another discussion item for leaders from Adamstown, West Cocalico, East Cocalico, and Denver was how school calls will be handled now that residents of Adamstown and West Cocalico have signed a five-year contract for police coverage with Ephrata Borough. Councilman Christopher Flory wondered if there might be an equitable way to handle the routine type of school call.

Council members question the status of the sale of the approximate eight-acre parcel of land at 1975 N. Reading Road?

Denver Council members replied to East Cocalico after their Aug. 10 meeting that they’d recommended a sealed bid or public auction sale. They have had no response. An update at the regional meeting would be useful.

In another action, council unanimously approved reaching out to East Cocalico supervisors to see about getting on a five-year cycle contract like the other municipalities who are choosing to work with Ephrata.

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