Clare to convert street lights to LED, cost $131K

April 29, 2016

Clare City approved new fixtures and LED bulbs for nearly 200 streetlights in Clare. Photo by Michelle Turner

Clare City approved new fixtures and LED bulbs for nearly 200 streetlights in Clare.
Photo by Michelle Turner

By Pat Maurer

Clare will soon look a “little brighter” because the City Commission approved a bond issue to finance most of the $130,000 needed to upgrade the City-owned 186 decorative street lights on McEwan, Fifth Street and Fourth Street with energy efficient LED lights in new fixtures.

In his agenda report, City Manager Ken Hibl said, Isabella Bank provided the lowest proposal for financing the conversion project “not to exceed $131,000 for a fifteen-year bond.

The project will “take advantage of the Consumers Energy Rebate Program…, saving energy costs and manpower costs associated with maintaining the new fixtures,” which are touted to last from 15 to 25 years.

Treasurer Steve Kingsbury reported that the Fourth Street parking lot already has new LED lights.
The total purchase price of the new Equipment from Medler Electric of Alma is $145,370, and a rebate from Consumers Energy’s will pay $14,769.12 of the price.

Overall savings, not including manpower savings, are estimated at $100 per month, Hibl reported, and recently the USDA has offered the city a $20,000 grant to assist in the cost to upgrade the lights which will further reduce the cost.

The bond repayment will be approximately $1,000 per month paid in one annual payment over the 15-year period.

Another USDA Grant will pay a portion ($18,000) of the cost of a new pickup for the Clare Fire Department. Cost of the pickup is estimated at $36,000. The cost will be further reduced from $4,000 to $5,000 with the sale of the department’s old truck. Fire Chief Jim Chapman said.
Following a Public Hearing the City Commission approved accepting the grant.

Other business at the meeting April 18 included:
*a presentation by 97th District Republican Candidate Jason Wentworth;

*a presentation by Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District Superintendent Sheryl Presler on the importance of the CTE millage on the May 3 ballot;

*approval of the low bid from Ram Builders to replace five steel doors in the Public Safety Building at an estimated cost of $18,000;

*a report from City Manager Ken Hibl that the Shamrock Lake Association had approved a study for dredging the lake;

*a report from Treasurer Steve Kingsbury that the Economic Development Corporation Manager is working on the final reimbursement for the Clare north project; and

*approval of bills totaling $140,697.24.

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