October 4th, 2017
HORNELL, NY – The Hornell BOE heard a presentation Wednesday afternoon from Chad Snowburg of Hunt Engineers about the possible replacement of all stadium lights surrounding the football field. The current light fixtures are over 25 years old and the price of energy and upkeep has become an issue with the district. The new plan, as presented by Snowburg, would be to replace the 125 foot poles with 85 foot ones and install much more efficient LED lighting system.The new lights would last three to four times longer with a projected lifespan of around 20 years, with 10 of that guaranteed.
The big question seems to be, should they replace the poles too at an additional $50,000, or keep them and install the new lighting on top of them? According to Snowburg, the new LED lighting is not meant to function properly at 125 feet, with its optimal height being around 85 feet, so if you decide to install the new lights on the old poles there’s no guarantees on accuracy and performance. The total cost of the project is estimated at around $350,000-$400,000 depending on the pole option chosen.
Palotti stated that the money for this is well on hand as the district has been tucking away funds from capital projects for a while now with a reserve of over $1.5 million. “This is something that definitely needs to be addressed,” said the Superintendent, “People think that when one of those old bulbs go out we can just scale the pole and replace it. We are beyond that point on many sections. Whole circuit panels are corroded beyond repair, and as far as electricity and upkeep are concerned were looking at some major bills down the road.”
Palotti stated that if the board acts fast on the issue, they can have the new lighting system in place for the fall of 2018. One question that was brought up by board member John McNelis and probably was on a lot of people’s minds was the cost savings over time switching from florescent to LED. The city of Hornell recently underwent a similar streetlight replacement project and are reporting huge energy savings over time.
Snowden did not have those figures at the time but said they would be provided to board members as soon as possible. No decisions on the project were made last night and further discussion was recommended.