Hazel ParkJuly 5, 2012
Hazel Park unveils new lights on John R
By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer
HAZEL PARK — A new lighting project just wrapped along John R between Woodward Heights and the I-75 service drive.
The project is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to be good stewards of the earth and taxpayers’ dollars, while improving aesthetics and usability for motorists and pedestrians in the area.
The new lights will save nearly $10,000 a year in energy costs, according to DTE estimates, and also cut energy use by 94,276 kilowatts and greenhouse gas emissions by 60 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year — the equivalent of taking 12 cars off the road.
Formally unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at City Hall June 29, the project retrofits the existing 74 poles running up and down John R, replacing the 13-year-old, 305-watt metal halide street lights with brand-new 60-watt LED lights.
The globes housing the lights have also been replaced.
“The globes got tarnished over the years, so over time, they weren’t as bright as they were 13 years ago,” said Tom Jones, DPW foreman. “It’s a thicker globe now, so hopefully it’ll stay brighter and clearer for many years to come. Being that the entire globe’s been replaced, it’s going to look much better now.”
The lights were supplied by Hamtramck-based electrical distributor Caniff Electric Supply Co. and installed between April and late June. If not for periodic interruptions, such as the five-day Memorial Weekend festivities, they would’ve been up sooner.
The whole project was paid for by a $50,150 Advanced Lighting Technology Demonstration grant, provided by the State of Michigan Energy Office through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Hazel Park was among 14 cities to be awarded the grant last August. The Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office helped with administrative and technical assistance.
“The purpose is for the city to get a chance to use the new technology when they might not be able to normally afford it themselves, and see how much money they can save over time,” said Shelley O’Brien, the city manager’s management assistant.
The lights on John R are just the latest in a series of energy-efficient projects in Hazel Park.
In 2011, the city was among the first in Michigan to utilize new technology at Viking Ice Arena that converts excess heat from the compressors to melt the ice that the Zambonis clear from the rink. Funded by the Michigan Public Service Commission, the project reduces energy use by 10,909 kwh, for cost savings of $1,200 a year.
Later in 2011, energy-efficient light bulbs, LED exit signs and occupancy sensors were installed throughout City Hall, the 43rd District Court, the Police Department, Fire Hall and Department of Public Works. This project, funded by Pure Michigan Energy Office, reduces energy use by 38,700 kwh, for cost savings of $4,644 a year.
“We’re pleased that we can be one of the first cities to undertake this kind of initiative to upgrade our lighting to this new technology,” said City Manager Ed Klobucher. “This will save money; this will save energy. It’s a win-win for the city’s taxpayers, and also for the planet in terms of our energy consumption. It also shows we are on the cutting edge of attempting to save money, because with our financial condition, we have to be. We cannot pass up any opportunity to save money.”
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