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New lights for old Turlock neighborhoods

New lights for old Turlock neighborhoods

Street lights, like those pictured, will be receiving new, more energy-efficient bulbs as a result of a federal grant.


POSTED September 18, 2009 11:11 p.m.
Just five months ago, the Turlock City Council was considering turning out the lights in some areas of town in an effort to save money. Today, the City of Turlock is planning to replace 1,800 high pressure sodium street lamps with induction lamps, thanks to a $643,100 award from the Department of Energy.
The City of Turlock estimates that the higher efficiency induction bulbs will save the city at least $72,000 per year in electricity expenses. According to City of Turlock Regulatory Affairs Manager Michael Cooke, the induction lamps will also last three times as long as the current lamps, saving the city money in maintenance and replacement costs.
“The city’s street light fund has been hit hard due to declining sales tax revenues,” said Dan Madden, municipal services director for the City of Turlock. “The federal stimulus funds will help reduce our operation and maintenance costs and further cement the city’s reputation for being a leader in technological innovation and environmental stewardship.”
City staff originally wrote a funding proposal to construct a new traffic signal in the Westside Industrial Specific Plan area. However, they decided to re-write the proposal to compensate for the worsening financial outlook for the city’s street light funds.
“I commend the city engineering staff who initially applied for these funds and for the municipal services staff who researched this issue, developed a proposal, and re-wrote the funding request in record time to make sure that Turlock would not lose these federal funds,” Madden said.
The induction lamps will be installed in street lamps in central, south and southwest areas of town — areas which are not part of benefit assessment districts.
The lamps will be replaced by the city employees currently responsible for street lamp maintenance, said Cooke. He said he expects the project to be completed in about two years.
According to Cooke, the city is currently researching where to buy the induction lamps. A project start date is not yet known.
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail khacker@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.
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