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SOUTH KINGSTOWNâ€”Earlier this month, National Grid submitted its 122-page proposal for the streetlight buyback program, legislation for which was passed by Gov. Chafee in July. The Washington County Regional Planning Council (WCRPC), who drafted the Streetlight Investment Act and championed the buyback program among southern Rhode Islandâ€™s cities and towns, has expressed concerns about National Gridâ€™s proposal, which would ultimately see municipalities purchase streetlights and assume their operation costs from the utility.
â€śOverall, it is a partially complete and partially fair proposal,â€ť said Jeff Broadhead, â€śIt meets the letter of the law for part of the law, and not for the other part, so I have serious concerns for what they have submitted.â€ť
The WCRPC has filed a motion to intervene with the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers (DPUC), the state organization which will ultimately set the regulations for municipalities who wish to purchase their streetlights, in order to give the WCRPC more of a voice in making sure National Gridâ€™s rates are fair. Broadhead is finalizing the WCRPCâ€™s memorandum in response to National Gridâ€™s tariff proposal, stating that much more scrutiny must be given to the utilityâ€™s initial proposal.