Last fall the Clare Downtown Development Authority undertook the task of replacing the aging and inoperable incandescent lighting that has adorned the trees of our downtown district for approximately 20 years with new LED lighting. The task of replacing the lighting was undertaken by three members of the City’s Downtown Development Authority: Gus Jelenek, Vince Demasi, and Al Iacco. The estimated cost of the project was $12,000.
As the Downtown Development Authority and the City did not have the funds to purchase the lights, Gus, Vince, and Al convinced the downtown merchants, local residents, and other Clare business owners and merchants to donate the funds to purchase the lights. Over a two-month period, more than $11,000 was raised to relight downtown Clare. New LED lights were purchased and installed by the City’s DPW crews just in time for the Christmas Holiday Season.
The City received countless and continuous positive comments regarding the new lighting from residents and visitors to Clare; the lights were even mentioned in a number of local media outlets. But then in January the lights began to fail. They continued to fail to the point that over 50% of the lights were inoperable. Through the efforts of the team at Clare Hardware, the business where the lights were purchased, the manufacturer of the lights was contacted.
After nearly a month of negotiating, the manufacturer of the lighting agreed that Clare had received a defective lot of lights and agreed to replace the lighting at no cost to the City. Consequently, all of the lighting was removed and new LED lights were ordered. But unfortunately white LED lights are a seasonal item and not currently available. So a special order was made with the assurance that we should receive the new white LED lights in June or July 2013. The new lights will again be reinstalled by the City’s DPW crews once they are received.
But to ensure that we have lighting in the downtown district for St. Patty’s Day and until we receive the new white LEDs, Clare Hardware offered and purchased green incandescent lights for all the downtown trees.