Lindenhurst is ending a more than 30-year agreement with the Town of Babylon for lighting maintenance.
The village has decided to take care of lighting issues itself, officials said, rather than relying on town workers. Just last month, the village board of trustees voted to renew the annual intermunicipal agreement with the town, which was first signed in June 1988, and was due to expire at the end of May 2019.
However, officials decided to end the agreement early, they said, to save money.
“We’re trying to do more things in-house now,” said Mayor Mike Lavorata. “We’re trying to find those little costs savings here and there which can add up to real money at the end of the year.”
The village had been paying the town $2,159.09 per month, or $25,909 a year, for the maintenance and repair of the village’s 2,231 streetlights.
The village instead has hired Roy DiRaffaele as its first-ever "lighting inspector" in the public works department. DiRaffaele worked for 32 years for the town, most recently as a maintenance mechanic in special lighting, before retiring in 2017 with a base salary of $52,455, according to town payroll records. He will work part time for the village, up to 20 hours a week for $30 per hour, or about a maximum of $31,200 a year.
"He's not going to be actually making inspections," said Village Administrator Doug Madlon. "He'll be changing light bulbs, replacing ballasts and making repairs."
While DiRaffaele’s salary could be more than the town contract, Lavorata said the village will save money by having an in-house electrician who can tackle other village projects as needed. He said the village has spent more than $23,000 so far this year hiring outside contractors for such jobs. Repairs can also be done more quickly by having someone on staff, Lavorata said, rather than waiting to hire a contractor.
“We will surely see a savings and we can now rely on a person to do those two jobs for the price of one,” Lavorata said.
The town continues to have a lighting maintenance agreement with the Village of Babylon.