While it prepares to have several derelict lights at Jeff Young Memorial Field brought down, township council is weighing whether to spend several hundred thousand dollars to upgrade lighting at the rest of the town’s recreation venues.
Last month, Acting Township Manager Tom Merchel informed council six of the 20 poles at Jeff Young needed to be replaced immediately for safety reasons. He said the poles and lights had been installed in the late '70s or early '80s and had lasted “past their useful life.” They were weathered and cracked and at risk of falling.
Since then, two more poles have been added to the list. Merchel told council Monday it would cost $13,700 just to remove the eight poles and lights, based on a quote from Riggs Distler Construction.
To replace all 20 of the old lights at Jeff Young with new, more energy-efficient versions with metallic alloy poles would cost between $230,000-$290,000, he told council, quoting a price provided by lighting manufacturer Musco Lighting. By upgrading to energy-efficient technology—lights that operate off timers, for example—the township would also save between $55,000-82,000 over 25 years.
The quote from Musco also included a clause for free maintenance for 25 years.
Upgrading all the lights at Jeff Young, including the basketball and tennis courts, would cost about $405,000, with savings of $115,000 over 25 years, according to Musco. Upgrading the basketball and tennis court lights at Fullerton and Maple Dawson parks would cost between $100,000-$115,000, with savings of $20,000 and $92,000 respectively.
“What I was pushing for was for all the lights to be replaced,” said Merchel. “They’re all kind of around the same (age) … The last couple years we’ve had people come out and say they should come out and be replaced.”
Council didn’t decide Monday if or how many of the lights should be replaced, but did ask Merchel for more information.
He said he plans to get quotes on replacing all the lights from township engineers the Alaimo Group to give council a better idea of the cost of the project.