published Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Chattanooga City Council votes to move ahead with 'green' lighting


by Cliff Hightower
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  • photo
    Robert Edwards, right, and Jim Meyer of Ace Electric install decorative post lights at Coolidge Park that use energy-efficient induction lights controlled by radio transmitters. Those lights and new LED lights are designed and manufactured by Global Green Lighting in Soddy-Daisy.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
    enlarge photo

The streets of Chattanooga will be a little greener.

The City Council voted 6-2 Tuesday night on a $6 million contract for "green" light-emitting diode lighting to be installed throughout Chattanooga

"You should see the first ones four to six months after the contract is signed," said Don Lepard, president of Global Green Lighting LLC.

The council has debated for a month about the street lighting. Some council members said they wanted more lighting, and some said they wanted less. The council voted on a compromise -- 5,200 lights will be installed during a first phase. Additional phases will be added as money is available.

Ultimately, about 27,000 lights will be installed.

Daisy Madison, the city's chief financial officer, said Tuesday night that the city could use bonds to pay for the lights, but there also could be alternative financing.

"We have not decided on the financing as of yet," she said.

Cost for 27,000 lights totals about $18 million.

Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd and Councilwoman Deborah Scott voted against the measure, while Councilman Jack Benson abstained.

Scott said she has no problems with the contract.

"My only objection is the size of the allocation," she said. "I wish the first part had been smaller."

Lepard said company and city officials will evaluate where green lighting will go first. Some of the most crime-ridden areas may be targeted first, along with some of the main roads.

"The downtown area is definitely a go," he said.

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