Brundidge earns energy grant

Published 8:28 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2010

State Rep. Alan Boothe, D-Troy, recently contacted Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage to inform him that the city will be rewarded an energy conservation grant.

City Manager Brit Thomas said that the city will match $13,600 to the $78,960 in grant funds in order to replace 101 streetlight fixtures with LED lights.

Thomas said the energy efficient lights, which will illuminate state Routes 10 and 93, will result in some environmental and financial benefits.

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The city manager explained that the LED lights will produce less carbon than their predecessors, and because they will require less power output, will save the city some money too.

“We’ll save approximately $7,500 per year in wholesale power costs,” Thomas said of the new bulbs, which have been estimated to last 22 years.

That would add up to $165,000 in savings for Brundidge over the life of the bulb without adjusting for inflation, a figure that Thomas said would amount to a 386 percent savings on the investment.

Additionally Thomas said that the city would save another 72 percent on maintenance costs.

The city manager said not to expect any loss of quality though, “you’ll see an improvement in visibility a good little bit,” he said.

With one grant approved the council considered applying for another.

Thomas informed the council that the city had until Feb. 25, 2010 to apply for federal appropriations for community projects.

The city manager proposed that the council consider a Veterans Blvd project that has been previously drawn up.

“We were thinking it’s something already engineered, we have the cost estimate and it’s in the price range,” Thomas said.

The price range he referred to, involved federal appropriations that have already been allocated for comparable projects in Alabama.

Thomas said that the previous estimate was around $420,000, but that number would have to be re-figured to get an exact amount today.

One city council member said that the Veterans Blvd project was an essential one.

“It’s one of the most expensive projects that we’re going to have to do,” said Council Member Lawrence Bowden. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that we should apply for this,” he said addressing the mayor.

One of the main issues the council will have to decide is what percentage of the project the city will ask for in the application. Thomas said that if the city proposes to match some of the funds, the offer could seem more attractive. The final decision will be made once the exact estimated amount of the project is determined. Until then, the council voted to accept the proposal with a maximum 20 percent match.