© 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

Audit to shed light on Buffalo's street lamps

File photo

Buffalo has 32,000 street lights. How many of them work? The city will know soon when a consultant reports.The city hired Troy & Banks last year after a review process. The contract requires the firm to check every single street light over the one-year length of the contract.

Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder says that has been done and now the firm is trying to get information from National Grid before delivering the audit. The utility is in charge of street light maintenance and owns some of the poles and all of the actual lights.

Troy & Banks won't be paid directly, but rather will be paid from resulting city savings.

"This has been done before. The Common Council, in the 1990s, asked also for an audit. We've proceeded cautiously, but we've thought that this would be a very long, arduous, complicated audit," Schroeder told WBFO

The last time, the city received a rebate of $2 million and Schroeder says the current city budget anticipates similar savings this time. City Hall is concerned enough about dead street lights that it now has a smart phone app to report lights which don't work.

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.