Professional agreement on street lights on Killeen council agenda

With public safety a key concern, the Killeen City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on entering into a professional agreement regarding the city’s nighttime street lighting.

Tanko Streetlighting, Inc. is a national firm that specializes in assisting municipalities with their street lighting needs, according to a city staff report.

“The company provides a turn-key solution for municipalities with professional services ranging from auditing streetlights to energy efficiency conversion projects,” the report said.

The agreement, which has already been approved in the city’s budget for the current fiscal year, is set not to exceed $196,300. The city manager’s office supports approving the agreement, with reduction of related costs as the primary reason.

Tanko’s standard turn-key service consists of four primary components: 1) project development, 2) ownership negotiations, 3) energy efficiency conversion, and 4) ongoing streetlight maintenance. The proposed professional services agreement will cover the first two components. The remaining components will be bid out separately when and if the city decides to move forward with each.

“The proposed professional services agreement will cover the first two components,” the report said, with the remaining components will be bid out separately when and if the city decides

to move forward with each.

Approximately 4,440 streetlights throughout the city that are owned by Oncor, which is based in Dallas and to which the city pays Oncor a monthly tariff per streetlight that amounts to nearly $697,085 annually.

The importance of effective street lighting is seen as critical in Killeen’s war on crime, a topic which was brought up at the council’s January 19 workshop.

“I do support the change because additional street lights will be a deterrent to reduce crime,” Councilmember Debbie Nash-King said by email on Sunday.

Mayor Jose Segarra touched on the potential costs saved by the new agreement.

“In reference to Tanko, I believe it is something worth looking into because of the potential, in the long run, to save the city money,” Segarra said by email on Sunday. “If council moves forward with the professional service agreement with Tanko Streetlighting Inc., then I will look forward to hearing on both the positive and negative issues that they will present to council. I think a well light neighborhood can be a deterrent for crimes, there is evidence that show that to be true. If we are able to save money by owning our own street lights, then that saving can also go a long way to adding more smart lights throughout our city.”

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Killeen City Hall, 101 N. College St., and can also be viewed online at | 254-501-7463

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