Binghamton brings big savings to city funds

By Brandi Bailey

May 27, 2014 Updated May 27, 2014 at 6:34 PM EDT

Binghamton,NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's an estimated $11 million project that's expected to save the city just as much in energy costs.

The City of Binghamton is focusing strongly on its street lights and municipal water meters.

Just last year the city spent nearly $1.5 million on energy alone. More than $500,000 of that money was spent on street lights.

The city is looking to convert nearly 7,000 street lights to LED bulbs. That replacement will result in a saving of millions of dollars.

The city adds the bulbs will be nearly seven times brighter than the ones currently being used and the need for replacement will be less frequent.

"It will work a lot better, which will in turn be safer for the residents. They will feel safer and they will be safer so that's a side benefit," Commissioner for Public Works Gary Holmes said.

The second portion of the proposal is to change more than 14,000 water meters in the city.

It's a $7- million project.

The city says it's been decades since the meters have been replaced and over time they become inaccurate and can host leaks.

Funding for the projects will come from bonds. However, the city will also be applying for grants like the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority or NYSERDA grant to help offset the costs of the project.