Officials frustrated with slow changeover of streetlights

Officials frustrated with slow changeover of streetlights

PAWTUCKET – City officials are expressing frustration at the slow pace of an ongoing conversion of all streetlights to LED lights, saying they’re ready to charge a $200-per-day fee to contractor Siemens in late charges.

The last day of a six-month window to complete the conversion is this Friday, March 27, and the company had only achieved 45 percent of light conversions as of Monday, March 23, or 2,722 lights overall of the more than 6,000 lights in the city.

“The Department of Public Works has consistently requested that Siemens supply additional crews to the city to expedite the installations,” wrote DPW Director Eric Earls in a memo to other officials. “Siemens throughout the project has been reluctant to dedicate the necessary workforce to keep the project on schedule.”

The contract with Siemens calls for a six-month window from Sept. 27, 2019, but representatives from the company recently informed the city that the work won’t be done until May 31.

City Councilor Mark Wildenhain said at the March 11 council meeting that he’s received a lot of calls about lights being out. He thanked Public Works Business Manager Rick Karsulavich for working with Siemens on getting individual blown lights converted to LED without spending $400 per light to get an old light replaced.

Councilor Meghan Kallman said she supports the $200 daily fee for each day Siemens is late getting the work done. She said she thinks the conversion program is a great one, but it’s time for the company to hold up its end of the bargain.