Minister of Local Government and Community Development Noel Arscott, has announced a pilot streetlight programme that will involve Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. In his contribution to the Sectoral Debate today, the Minister indicated that 500 LED-powered Streetlights will be installed in various communities islandwide, with special consideration to be given to the six parishes with the best rate of Property Tax compliance. These parishes are Kingston/St. Andrew, the Portmore Municipality, Hanover, St. James, St. Mary and Westmoreland.
In stating that this tax is critical to the provision of streetlights among other things, the Minister revealed that the 2014/15 Property Tax collection target of J$7.26 billion was surpassed, with J$7.447 billion collected as at March 31.
Minister Arscott also provided an update about the general provision of streetlights. “Last year I reported to this Honourable House that a Request For Proposal (RFP) would be issued for the retrofitting of the streetlights with efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED). These will reduce power consumption and cost of service by over 60%. The RFP was delayed to enable legal review and assessment options for structuring and financing the LED street lighting project. The IDB will finalize the consultant’s report by the end of April.
We are in the final stage of determining the approach for the replacement programme with the Energy Sector Enterprise Team (ESET), Jamaica Public Service and the Ministry of Finance. Our objective is to have the existing streetlights replaced over a period of 12 months once the service provider is chosen. Arising from this, the JPS has four weeks, commencing April 15, 2015, to prepare and submit a proposal for the replacement of the existing streetlights.”