Local

Sanger installing energy-saving LED streetlights

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Big changes are taking place in Sanger this week. The city is installing new city street lights. The project is expected to save the city thousands of dollars each year.

The city is part way through the installation. Sanger's mayor said, in the long run, the lights should pay for themselves.

The new lights are smaller, brighter, and more efficient.

Soon all of Sanger's 475 street lights will be replaced with LEDs. The new lights put off a pale blue or white color, rather than the old orange-tinted lights.

"They will be twice as bright and last twice as long, there will be less maintenance with them," said Sanger Mayor Joshua Mitchell. The lighting project came together after Mitchell began receiving complaints about crime and dark city streets.

"A lot of people contributed the auto thefts that were going on, the gang activity, to the fact that there wasn't enough lighting to make these people feel uncomfortable for what they were doing," Mitchell said.

The lights will cost nearly $230,000. Sanger is paying that bill with grant money and an interest-free loan from PG&E.

Reaction from residents is mostly positive. "I like 'em, they're pretty bright," said Manuel Avila. "We could see a lot out here, before it was really dark. But now we could see people coming and going."

"These bulbs are kind of too high, so they're not really... they're just not bright," said Sherif Banrub.

Sanger is in the middle of another lighting overhaul that began in October, that one in the city's older eastside neighborhoods. Many of the streets here only have one light per block. That leaves Cathy Morales no choice but to walk her family home in the shadows.

"It's just me and my boys, so it'd be safer for us to walk down the streets," Morales said.

The city will front $320,000 to pull these neighborhoods out of the dark.

Sanger, like other cities in the Valley, has had to deal with copper wire theft. When the new lights go in on the city's eastside, the wiring will be sealed off to prevent theft.

As for the new LEDs, installation should be complete in the next few weeks.

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sanger, fresno county, local, rick montanez
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