By the end of next week the conversion of some 1,675 old sodium-vapor and mercury-vapor street lights in Ypsilanti to LED's should be complete. Not only will the conversion make city streets brighter and safer, it will also save the city about $120,000 a year.
That's according to City Manager Ralph Lange, who says DTE Energy has 119 post-top lights left to convert.
Lange says the conversion project cost less than $600,000.
"The cost to the city was probably less than $50,000," Lange says. "The rest was paid for by the special assessment. So this is a massive positive for the community because they really love the lights and at almost no cost relative to the savings from the city's general fund."
DTE Energy also did a survey of the condition of light poles in the city, and found 79 of them that are in need of immediate replacement. That work should be completed by the end of the year.
Another 484 poles need painting, which will be done over the next couple of years.
And work continues to upgrade interior lighting and other lights owned by the city.