Woodstock looks to save energy, money with LED streetlights

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

The Woodstock Town Board is considering replacing its street lights to yield projected savings of nearly $24,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs. Through an energy efficiency program from the New York Power Authority, the town would purchase LED streetlights to be installed in place of the outdated fixtures that use mercury vapor bulbs.

The town now leases its streetlights from Central Hudson and also pays rent to use space on utility poles on which the lights are mounted.

The town would negotiate a price to pay Central Hudson for existing mounting equipment and about 14 poles that have no other utilities and are dedicated to lights.

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Out of 129 streetlights, Central Hudson has already converted 26 to LED, which are much more efficient and last longer.
The existing LED fixtures could be moved to other parts of town so they are more evenly distributed, or they may be replaced altogether so the lighting is uniform, said Pat Courtney Strong of the Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium.

Total materials and labor will cost the town $89,610.53, according to NYPA estimates. Annual savings in fuel and maintenance are estimated at $23,630.58. The project can be financed over five years and if savings estimates are accurate, the project would pay for itself within four years.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” said Woodstock Environmental Commission Chairman David Gross, noting the reduction in emissions in addition to the cost savings.

The board will discuss and possibly have a resolution at a Special Meeting at 9 a.m. Monday, August 27 at the Town Offices at the Comeau. 

Mink Hollow bridge downgrade likely

The bridge in Mink Hollow over the Beaver Kill, already slated for replacement, will likely get a downgrade in its weight limit to 8 tons, Supervisor Bill McKenna said. The recent rainfall knocked out temporary jacks installed under the bridge with the town’s permission so a private contractor could move some heavier equipment to a job site. When the swollen stream pushed the jacks out, it may have bent and damaged the beams on the underside of the bridge.

Bridge replacement is expected to cost $600,000. The town is exploring grants and other funding to offset the cost.

Road work is close to close to the end

The remainder of pipe work should be completed on Mill Hill Road by the end of next week (August 31), followed soon by paving. About 1300 of the 1700 feet of pipe is complete, McKenna said.

Despite the complaints of a perceived lack of progress due to night work, McKenna said it’s a good thing they chose this year to do the work. The Mill Hill Road project is funded by a grant through Community Rising, a program to help towns and cities better prepare for severe weather, including improved drainage for roads. McKenna said there’s talk of closing the program and pulling back funding that hasn’t been spent.

He estimates about $100,000 remains of the $3 million allocated to Woodstock under the program. That money could be well-spent repairing and replacing the sections of crumbling and uneven sidewalk from the area near the Bradley Meadows up to where Mill Hill Road becomes Tinker Street.

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