Union Township to enter lighting contract with Consumers Energy, cost unknown

The Union Township Board of Trustees Wednesday approved to advance the standard lighting contract for all Consumers Energy-owned lighting in the township.

Township Manager Brian Smith said a total of 141 lights within the township will be paid out of the general township fund, including intersection lighting and subdivision lighting that is specially assessed back to land owners within the lighting district.

The price of the one-year contract was not stated by the board of trustees, but Smith said the reason dates back to a 2010 Consumers Energy lighting survey, giving the township a total estimate on the lights and the cost.

“We’ve finally reached something that began two years ago,” he said.

The contract with Jackson's Consumers Energy says the company will furnish the lighting service for Union Township for one year. After that time period, the contract may be reconsidered, documents say.

Following the approval of the contract, Smith said it is possible for additional lights to be added to the contract once it is set.

“Each new light has to be approved,” he said. “From now on, it will be adding one more light for each additional contract.”

However, information is being discussed as to whether or not subdivisions can buy their own lights or if this has to be furnished by Consumers Energy.

“There’s a sub that wants to add more decorative lighting but have consumers handle it out,” he said. “I’m trying to find someone who will say "yes, you can" or "no, you can’t."”

Now approved, the lighting data will be entered into the township GIS system as a lighting overlay map to pinpoint the locations.


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