Council gives vote of confidence to new Motion Sensor Lights program at Monday executive committee meeting

Prince Albert City Hall. Herald File Photo

Prince Albert city council gave tentative approval on Monday to a new community safety program that will provide up to 100 motion sensor lights to Prince Albert home owners at a discounted price.

The Motion Sensor Lights program is based on the Eyes that Care campaign started in North Battleford. It gives homeowners a chance to purchase a $100 outdoor motion sensor light for the front or back of a house or garage at a cost of $25.

Council first started talking about creating such a program in January 2020. Ward 5 Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick made the motion to approve program at Monday’s executive committee meeting, and said it would help make Prince Albert a safer community.

“I think this is addressing our concerns,” Ogrodnick told council. “It’s been on our radar for quite some time now, and finally we’re getting somewhere.”

Local retailer Canadian Tire has agreed to sell 100 NOMA 180 Degree LED Solar Motion Sensor Lights for $50, and city council has agreed to reduce that price by another $25. If all 100 lights are sold, that move would cost the City $2,500. The City is still working with Canadian Tire to determine the best way to manage payment.    

The program will run undergo a review once it ends on Dec. 21, 2021. Administrators say they don’t know for sure how many people will take advantage of it.

City Planning and Development Director Craig Guidinger said it’s difficult to find statistics about how motion lights affect property crime. The City plans to conduct a survey as part of the review to try and answer that question.

Guidinger said the goal is to give homeowners another tool that will help protect their property and make them feel safe, something he’s confident it will accomplish.

“When someone (says) that they don’t feel safe in their home, they might not know what the numbers are to defend their options, but if you put a light on their vehicle, on their garage, you just get that inherent feeling of safety,” Guidinger told council. “You just feel a little bit better about your neighbourhood or your home.”

Planning manager Kristina Karpluk wrote the Motion Sensor Lights Program Report included in Monday’s agenda package. She echoed Guidinger’s comments in that report, writing that the program would help make Prince Albert a better place to live.

“A critical prerequisite to happiness and health is safety,” Karpluk wrote. “Even small steps, like this community safety initiative, help support the desire to have a city that is both happy and healthy.”

The program still needs final approval at a regular city council meeting. City administrators plan to send out a notice to the public once it’s open for applications.