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Town Weighs Upgrading All Field Lights

An upgrade to energy-efficient lights at three township parks would cost $635,000, according to acting manager Tom Merchel.

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.

Honest Joe Taxpayer September 14, 2011 at 12:05 PM
If ain't broke, don't fix it.
utr September 14, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Not piling on. I completely understand not inspecting lights 50' in the air. Did the RAC consider the age of the light standards in its study? Was there any contingency for any unexpected repairs in the KIDS proposal?
The Situation September 14, 2011 at 04:47 PM
When a pole or light comes down on a kid at the field while the rest play on their brand new plastic field with the new scoreboard telling them the score, that'll be a Situation. Spin it anyway you want to and pass the buck to anyone holding the empty bag, it's an oversight.
Voice of Reason September 14, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Yes Scrap the Boys Club Plan of a Turf Tournament venue’s and spend our tax dollars on the real needs throughout the Rec system. Mr. Cooper stated the “Need “for a new parking lot at Wesley Bishop because “Some of us have really nice cars and we are tired of them getting dinged up when we drop off our kids” Hundreds of thousands of dollars for a parking lot and nothing for the old lighting at Jeff Young or maple Dawson? How about the drainage problems at the lower fields at memorial? I stand by my statement that this was an Ego driven plan to provide Tournament Venues for Private Clubs at Tax payer’s expense. This was driven by Councilman Testa for almost two years, and quite frankly his ownership of the Lacrosse store ( Ruff Lax) that sells its wears at these tournaments should have disqualified his participation in the discussion and Votes on the Issue.
M.Verado September 15, 2011 at 03:37 AM
KJL, I didn't mean to make an accusation, I asked a question. Left unexplained, you can see how people would draw conclusions based on appearances. Congratulations, you explained it very well. Ultimately, it is the townships responsibility, both inspection and repair. Volunteers always do it wrong. Just ask the sidewalk supers.

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