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G'view Council votes to spend $14,000 on lighting upgrades

GRANDVIEW - The lighting situation at the Grandview library has been a topic of conversation among city officials since Grandview City Council held a joint meeting with the library board in April. Monday night, Council voted to allot more than $14,000 to help alleviate lighting concerns at both Blehyl Community Library and the Grandview Police Department.

Council waited several months to approve funding for the improvement project to see if the project would qualify for a state assistance program. City Administrator Jim Sewell told Council Monday night that the project did not qualify for the program, noting that the dollar value to qualify for the program was higher than the cost of both the library and the police department projects combined.

Sewell told Council that after receiving word that the lighting improvement project didn't qualify for the state assistance program, he contacted PP&L to see if there was anything the city could do to alleviate the lighting situation in both buildings.

Sewell explained that PP&L was willing to offer the city a rebate if they retrofitted the buildings with more energy-efficient lighting. Sewell told Council the total cost of retrofitting the police department and the library would be $14,273, which includes more than $5,000 in rebates from PP&L. He added that with the energy efficient fixtures the city should save more than $3,000 a year lighting the library and more than $5,000 a year lighting the police department. He noted that the overall savings means the city will see a return on their investment in 21 months.

"Then the savings will go on," Sewell said. "The savings will continue."

In a memorandum to Council members, Sewell outlined that the retro-fitting program will include replacing all of the critical parts of the existing light fixtures, such as sockets, wire and ballasts and replacing them with state-of-the-art equipment. He added that the current 9,000 hour fluorescent bulbs will be replaced with thinner 20,000 hour bulbs.

Sewell explained that the funds to pay for the lighting upgrade will come from $71,000 in unanticipated revenue that is available for one-time capital expenditures. Since finding out about the revenue in June, Council has voted to spend $11,000 on improvements to the Dykstra Park Pathway and $15,500 for architectural services for the aquatic center proposal.

The need for lighting improvements at the library was discussed when City Council members sat down with members of the library board in April. At that time Librarian Linda Dunham passed around a box that contained a burned ballast, noting that the piece of lighting equipment had started smoking one day and could have caused a fire if it hadn't occurred during regular business hours.

Work on upgrading lighting at the library and the police department is scheduled to begin sometime this fall.

. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at eolmstead@eaglenewspapers.com

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