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Let there be (new) lights

Four islands communities are working together on a project that could see old-style sodium vapour streetlights replaced with more efficient LED lights.Port Clements council voted last week to support the project, after hearing from administrator Kim Mushynsky that the switch could result in annual savings of $3,500 and reduce carbon emissions by 41 tonnes a year.The four communities - Port, Queen Charlotte, Skidegate and Masset - are considering an application to the Union of BC Municipalities general strategic priorities fund, which would cover 100 percent of the approximately $600,000 cost.Queen Charlotte council also discussed the proposal last week, with mayor Carol Kulesha calling it a "great idea".But some councillors had concerns and wanted more information before they voted on whether to support the grant application."I've never seen LED street lights, but LED headlights are obnoxious," said councillor Leslie Johnson.Councillor Ellan Cranston brought up some recent citizen concerns about existing light pollution, and wondered what kind of light would come from the LED bulbs, while councillor Kris Olsen was concerned that the islands frequent power outages and fluctuations would damage the lights.Council will discuss the application again once it gets more information.