By Joe Capozzi
Briny Breezes is about to replace all 69 light fixtures in town with new energy-efficient LED lights.
The Town Council on Dec. 9 approved a plan to have Florida Power & Light replace the fixtures sometime in 2022.
The new fixtures, part of a green energy initiative by the utility, won’t cost the town a penny.
They’re expected to lower the town’s electrical costs to FPL by $500 or $600 a year.
“It’s a savings and it’s an upgrade aesthetically,’’ Town Manager William Thrasher said.
When the work would start was not worked out. But Thrasher said he would ask FPL to begin in April at the earliest at the request of Council President Sue Thaler.
“We’ve had so much going on with road construction and the water line project. I really would like a chance personally to just enjoy the property,’’ she said.
The project will include three new fixtures on Old Ocean Boulevard that will meet regulations protecting sea turtles.
In other business:
• Mayor Gene Adams told the council he’d like to serve another term, even though he was disqualified from the March 8 election because of a paperwork error.
“Thank you, Gene. I think that’s reassuring to people who thought you didn’t want to be the mayor any more,’’ Thaler said in jest.
Since no one filed to challenge incumbents Kathy Gross and Christina Adams, the election was canceled. But under city charter rules, the council must decide at its first meeting after the date of the election whether to appoint Adams or another candidate as mayor. His term expires March 8.
If the council fails to take action at that meeting, the town will have to hold a special election.
One resident clapped in support of Adams, and Ocean Ridge Mayor Kristine de Haseth, who also attended the meeting, told the council she hopes Adams returns as mayor.
• Ocean Ridge will continue to provide police services to Briny Breezes for three more years. Briny Breezes’ three-year police contract expired Sept. 30, but the town agreed to exercise a three-year option.
For each of those next three years, Briny will pay Ocean Ridge $196,690, $202,591 and $208,668 for police service. Under the current contract, Briny is paying $190,962 this year and it paid $185,400 the prior year and $180,000 the year before that.
• The council voted to spend up to $7,000 to have an attorney draft revisions to the town’s land uses that would allow alternative housing styles.