Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Finance Committee, February 26, 2024

Street Lighting

The Street Lighting division is responsible for street lights, traffic signals, walk signs, poles, and lights. An outside contractor oversees this work, and the town pays for the electricity to power these installations.

Maintenance Contracts

An increase in the maintenance contract for street lighting was noted, with a new vendor leading to a higher cost. The energy line also reflects an increase in the budget for street light electricity.

Electric Supply Contracts

The 2024 amount for electricity was higher than in 2023 due to contract changes. The contracts for electricity are based on the calendar year, affecting the tail end of one fiscal year and the beginning of the next. The next contract for electricity is expected to be slightly lower than 2024 but won’t be as low as the previous years.

Traffic Signals and Street Lighting

Maintenance of traffic signals has seen an increase due to the use of contractor work. Additionally, improvements to pedestrian lights in the town center have been funded, and the Lake Street light project was financed.

Electricity Costs and Contracts

Electricity costs have gone up, and while the delivery rate for electricity is under contract, the supply rate set by contract has increased for the 2024 fiscal year.

Future Efficiency Improvements

No specific plans for transitioning to a new generation of LED street lights were mentioned, but such changes could potentially lead to wattage savings and better maintenance costs.

Traffic Signals

The budget reflects the maintenance costs necessary for the upkeep and operation of traffic signals throughout the town. Increases in the budget align with the contractual obligations and projected need for maintenance work.


The combined motion to approve for Street Lighting was $150,000, and for Traffic Signals, it was $115,000. The total recommended budget for both was $265,000.



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