The city will pay Ohio Edison $275,000 for street lighting this year.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city board of control approved an agreement with Ohio Edison to continue providing energy for street lights over the next four years.
The city also is exploring the possibility of taking over ownership of electrical facilities to provide electricity to city residents.
The board approved the electric services agreement for all mercury, high-pressure sodium or metal halide energy-efficient street lights within the city and owned by Ohio Edison from Jan. 1 this year through Dec. 31, 2008.
This agreement replaces a similar one that expired last year, said Carmen S. Conglose Jr., deputy director of public works.
The rate for this year will be 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour, the same rate as at the end of 2004, or $275,000 for the year. The rate will increase to 5.7 cents in 2006, 7.9 cents in 2007 and 10.1 cents in 2008.
Conglose said the city will be paying Ohio Edison a total of $793,000 for street lighting in the last year of the agreement.
The contract says the city can cancel the agreement at any time with a 60-day notice. If that is done, the city would have to pay a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio rate of between 16 cents and 161/2 cents per kilowatt hour.
Conglose also said city council and the administration are interested in exploring the possibility of the city's providing electrical power for its residents, similar to what the city of Niles and city of Cleveland does.
Mayor George McKelvey said city council and the administration have agreed that the concept is worth looking at closely but have not yet initiated the process of how to accomplish that future goal.
"We have to see what kind of potential savings the city would get as opposed to the expense of investing in the necessary equipment for the city to become a municipal provider," McKelvey said, adding that more research is needed.