Opinion: Buying Streetlights the Right Choice for Hamden

By: Christina Crowder & Bob Pattison | New Haven Register

Published: 6/24/2020

MIDDLETOWN — Mayor Ben Florsheim Monday announced the city will convert 5,000 streetlights in the city to more energy-efficient LED lighting.

The LED conversion is one step in the city’s overall energy plan established in 2019, using half the energy and lasting five times longer, resulting in cost savings for the city.

“I’m excited about it in that it’ll make our streets brighter and safer and the city will save money,” said Jennifer Kleindienst, chairwoman of the Middletown Clean Energy Task Force. “But most importantly, it will reduce the city’s energy consumption pretty substantially.”

Tanko Lighting was selected to complete the project, at a cost of $1.5 million. Middletown officials project the annual savings from the work will “more than cover” the bond payments for the project.

“The LED streetlight conversion project is perhaps the single most effective energy efficiency opportunity available to the city, which is why we’ve made it a priority and why I’m so excited about getting this conversion underway,” Florsheim said.

Former Mayor Dan Drew, Public Works Director Bill Russo and Energy Coordinator Michael Harris were key executors of the project. The referendum to fund the project through bonding was held in 2018. For the last year the city has been ironing out auditing and design kinks in the plan.

Work is expected to last through the remainder of the year.

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