Normal has 56 intersection signals, 7 are shared with Bloomington, 23 are shared with IDOT, and there are 21 flashing lights. (Photo used under Creative Commons from Flickr user mabbink)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
NORMAL - The cost of fixing the traffic lights in Normal is going up this year.
The town council approved a contract with Laesch Electric out of Towanda Monday night that's six percent more than last year. City Manager Mark Peterson said he doesn't have a reason for the increase.
"This particular contractor, who we've worked with for many years...the increases from year to year vary dramatically," Peterson said. "Sometimes without real justification."
The contract is increasing to $100,000 for routine and emergency repair service of traffic control and highway lighting equipment. Last year, the contract increased 2.9 percent for labor, and this year, the contract is increasing 6.3 percent in labor costs. Town engineer Gene Brown says the three labor unions might have an effect.
"There's Teamsters, operators and electricians that are all involved in this response maintenance that we use. I don't know exactly what increases those trades have received this year, but that could be part of it also," Brown said.
Peterson said the town really doesn't have anyone else that can do the work, because the next closest company that can do the work is apparently in Champaign. Peterson said at some point the town may have to look at doing the work in house.
"We'll continue to monitor that. I don't think we're there yet, but in five or ten years, it may make sense financially," Peterson said.
In other action, the council approved the multi year street repair and resurfacing funding program.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com