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LOCKPORT – The Common Council this week took another step toward an anticipated package on energy-efficiency upgrades to be funded by the New York Power Authority.

The Council voted to accept the authority’s proposal to spend $17,057 on designs for the planned work. Last year, the city had given the authority the green light to spend $9,035 on a feasibility study.

If the work is eventually done, the estimated cost will be $871,778, the study said. The Power Authority would pay for that, and the city would reimburse the authority for the work by turning over a share of the savings the projects is expected to achieve.

The study estimates the total payback period at 12.2 years.

“Obviously, what it shows is, there would be significant energy savings,” Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick said.

Norman D. Allen, city director of engineering and public works, said the city would have to repay the authority $26,000 if for some reason it decided not to go ahead with the construction.

Plans call for installation of more energy-efficient lights and improved insulation in all city-owned buildings, as well as conversion of the City Hall hot water boiler from electricity to natural gas.

Allen said the boiler, which was installed when the building opened almost 40 years ago, needs to be replaced anyway.

“It’s a way for us to get a new boiler, virtually for free,” Allen said.

The city started down the path toward these projects in September 2011 by approving the authority’s proposal for an energy audit.

Allen said he expects that if the projects are done, the Power Authority would select the contractor, which might not be a local company.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com