© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Street light audit could reap big rewards

An audit is underway of the thousands of city street lights, many of which are not working. The review could return hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Buffalo treasury.

The issue of street lights which don't work is familiar to city residents and those who work or are just passing through.

What makes this an issue isn't just the safety problem of a light which doesn't light but the city pays for electricity as if the light worked.

Now, the city has hired consultant Troy & Banks to audit the lights.

"Some 20 years ago, the Common Council also was interested in this type of audit/analysis," said City Comptroller Mark Schroeder.

"The City of Buffalo back then hired a professional consultant very adroit in understanding National Grid and others who provide this service. So, we did an RFP, a request for proposal."

Schroeder says he hopes the city does as well this time as it did 20 years ago when $2 million were retrieved from what was then Niagara-Mohawk. Troy & Banks gets a piece of the savings.

The comptroller says the audit might take six months to cover all of the city streets and count the lights.

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.