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Board approves MLG&W contract for lighting of Veterans Parkway

By Bill ShortFlag City Logo

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has approved a contract with Memphis Light, Gas & Water to install street lights on Veterans Parkway.

Board members took the action during their Jan. 7 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Mike Caruthers and seconded by Alderman Larry Dagen.

City Engineer Darek Baskin said Veterans Parkway is almost complete, with several “punch-list items” that need to be addressed. But because there has been one reported incident where a deer was struck, he said the road needs to be lighted.

Baskin said MLG&W has designed lighting for the project from Church Street to Wilkinsville Road. The lights will consist of 250 to 300 “concrete standards,” and the lamps will range from 150 to 250 watts.

He cited two available options to pay for the lighting.

One would allow MLG&W to install the lighting, while Millington pays nothing up front. But each month, the city would pay one-twelfth of the $1.67 million construction cost, “essentially, for eternity.”

When MLG&W’s projected electrical and facility maintenance charges are added, Baskin said that amounts to approximately $15,350 a month.

The other option would allow the city to pay the $1.67 million up front and be reimbursed by the U.S. government through the Tennessee Department of Transportation at 80 percent of that cost under the Veterans Parkway project.

Baskin said that would leave a charge of approximately $335,670. And instead of paying 9.8 percent of that investment charge annually, the city would pay only 2.1 percent.

“So, with the option we are pursuing that we have in the agreement before you now,” he told the board members, “our investment charge would be about $2,950 a month. When you include the projected energy and facility charges, our projected monthly bill would be about $4,600, instead of $15,400.”

Baskin said if the $335,670 is divided by the difference between the 9.8 percent and the 2.1 percent charge, it would take the city only 31 months or two and a half years to make up the difference.

In response to a question by Caruthers, City Finance Director John Trusty recommended the second option. He said the “up-front funds” will come from the cash that Millington has available. And the reimbursement from TDOT will come within a maximum of 30 to 45 days.

In response to a question by Alderman Hank Hawkins, Baskin acknowledged that the lighting was not in the “original plan” for Veterans Parkway. But Trusty said it is within the total “original expected cost” of the road.

“It is within the budget allotment that we have from the federal government,” Baskin noted. “We are not going over our federally funded budget for the project by including the lighting.”

Trusty said the board will be “dipping into” the city’s General Fund balance to finance the cost of constructing Veterans Parkway above the $5 million that was originally “sold as a bond” to cover that. He noted that the $5 million did not cover the entire “local match” if the project went through its total allotted cost on the federal side.

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January 2013
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