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Support for LED lights at Salem park

SALEM — Parks Director Shane Franks said he’s received nothing but strong support for a project to upgrade Centennial Park lights to LED.

Franks discussed the project during a public hearing held Wednesday night regarding the grant being sought to help pay for the lighting upgrade.

The Salem Department of Parks and Recreation is applying for a NatureWorks grant of up to $10,000 through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The grant would cover 75 percent of the cost and the parks department would need to fund the other 25 percent.

Franks said he received an initial quote of $7,355 from YESCO Electrical Supply in Columbiana for at least 38 lights, but he asked them to add two more so the quote will be updated for 40 lights.

City electrician Scott Devan will be doing the work and told Franks the cost of miscellaneous materials needed to change the lights over to LED shouldn’t be more than $1,000.

Lights to be replaced would include 16 lamp posts, two each in the two main pavilions, four at the basketball courts, 10 at the tennis courts, four at the pool and two security lights near the pool.

Franks estimated the city’s share of the cost at $2,200 and said he may seek assistance from the Salem Community Foundation.

Parks Commission Chair John Panezott said there will be a savings in time on the electric bill from switching over to LED. Commission member Lori Colian also commented that lights will be brighter. LED lights use less energy, but throw more light.

The application is due June 1 and the public hearing was one of the requirements. City council approved a resolution last month to apply for the funds. Franks said the grant recipients won’t be announced until the fall, so the project likely won’t get completed until 2022.

He said five entities sent letters of support which will be submitted with the application. The support letters came from Salem Community Foundation Grant Coordinator Melissa Costa, Salem Schools Superintendent Sean Kirkland, Salem Public Library Director/Fiscal Officer Brad Stephens, Salem Kiwanis Club President Doug Falk and Salem Head Start Site Supervisor Sue Beadnell.

The letter writers spoke regarding the many programs held in the parks, some at night, and how the improved lighting will help with security and safety and be beneficial to all park users.

“New LED lights will certainly enhance the overall aesthetics and visibility for those participating in leisure activities, sporting events, and using the grounds for family reunions, scouting programs and antique shows,” Costa wrote.

Franks also said he’s expecting a letter of support from the Salem area Boy Scout troops.

The parks department was awarded a NatureWorks grant two years ago to update the restrooms inside the concession stand at Waterworth Memorial Park near the duck pond. The project was completed last year.

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