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City to audit street lights

Omar Fetouh/WBFO News

Buffalo City Comptroller Mark Schroeder says he will be doing an audit of the street lighting program, at the request of the Common Council.The last time there was an audit of the street lights in the late 1990s, then-Niagara Mohawk paid more than $1 million in a refund.

Schroeder says his audit plan for this year was to help the city's struggling finances by focusing auditors on revenues and expenditures like lighting. The city doesn't have to pay the usual fee for lights if now-National Grid is notified the light is out.

Council members say there needs to be a system to find which lights are out. Schroeder says working lights are a security issue as well as a cost issue.

"The Council has suggested that there have been audits done before and these audits have come up with some remedies and also recommendations that can save the city money," Schroeder said.

Schroeder says with city revenues sliding and expenses rising, looking at costs is a good idea.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.