TIJUANA (Border Report) — The city of Tijuana is planning on spending $600 million pesos — about $30 million — over the course of 10 years to upgrade the city’s streetlight network.

It wants to switch to an LED system that is more environmentally sound and uses less electricity. And it wants to guarantee “100 percent of the lights will work 100 percent of the time.”

“We are trying to modernize the lights with LED technology. Our current system is obsolete with recurring maintenance costs with very short life span, they burn out in a short amount of time,” said Juan Enrique Bautista, public services director with the city of Tijuana.

Bautista said the new lights will mean both a 50 percent reduction in electric use as well as maintenance work.

Right now, Bautista said, 30 percent of the lights around the city don’t work at all.

“We’re talking long time savings and lights that can last up to 10 years,” he said.

The city is putting the work out for bid, although not everyone within city government is on board.

“The city can’t go into more debt, I don’t think we shouldn’t bid out the lights, we don’t have all the information to do so in spite of the fact citizens want a well-lit city,” said Maria del Carmen Espinoza, a trustee with city of Tijuana.

Bautista has said more details will become available as the process gets going, stressing the project will not be debt-ridden. Instead, he says, it will save the city money.

“There will be money left over for the city,” said Bautista.

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