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City considers LEDs for street lights

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — There are some 1,365 street lights lining the more than 100 miles of roadways throughout the city, all of which may soon be replaced by more efficient, longer lasting LED lights.

The City Council first broached the subject in the course of preparing the 2016-2017 municipal budget, but deferred a decision on learning that Eversource, which offers rebates of $100 per fixture up to a maximum of $100,000, had committed funding for the program this year.

City Manager Scott Myers said that between $350 and $375 per fixture, the cost of the project would fall between $450,000 and $500,000. However, he described the project as "self-financing," explaining that the city budgets $212,000 annually for street lighting, at least half of which would be saved by installing the more efficient LED lights. By applying the savings to service the debt incurred to install the lights, the project would pay for itself in four-and-a-half years without adding to the budget. Alternatively, he suggested that extending the term of the borrowing and reducing the annual payment payback period would leave a positive balance in the appropriation for street lighting that could be applied to other purposes.

The Finance Committee will meet prior to the regularly scheduled council meeting on Sept. 12 to consider how to finance the project.

LED lighting consumes less energy and has a life span of 10 to 15 years, two to four times longer than conventional street lighting, which spares maintenance costs. LED lights turn on and off quickly and restart immediately after a power outage. By directing light downward on to the roadway, LED lights cast less glare into the eyes of motorists.

Council defers decision on projects at The Weirs

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — The City Council this week shelved a request from the Weirs Tax Increment Financing Advisory Board to invest $200,000 in a handful of projects that would be incorporated into the reconstruction of Lakeside Avenue pending further engineering and refined estimates.

The board recommended concrete, not asphalt, sidewalks at an additional cost of $70,000, stamped colored crosswalks costing an extra $60,000, brick pavers in the bump-outs and along the curbs for another $23,000 and an irrigation system or water service along the sidewalk on the west side of the street at cost of $20,000. With $17,000 set aside for unforeseen contingencies, the total cost of the projects is estimated at $200,000.

Earlier, the council approved spending $1,150,000 to bury the overhead utilities and install new street lighting between Endicott Street North (US Route 3) and Tower Street.

Councilors Henry Lipman (Ward 3) and Bob Hamel (Ward 5) pressed for more precise estimates, then putting the projects out to bids as add-ons to the entire reconstruction project. City Manager Scott Myers questioned whether the engineering required to prepare a bid package would provide markedly different estimates than those presented by the advisory board, which are based costs provided by the general contractor.

Motorcycle crash kills one Friday night

LACONIA — Police said the cause of a motorcycle crash on White Oaks Road at 7 p.m. Friday in which a 21-year-old man was killed was excessive speed.

Motorcyclist Matthew Cummins, who police said was from Kentucky but who was staying with friends who live in The Weirs, died at the scene from massive multiple trauma.

Police learned that Cummins was traveling south, or toward Laconia, with another motorcyclist when he failed to negotiate a turn just before Paugus Woods. Police said Cummins traveled in the right-hand breakdown lane for a distance before his motorcycle went off the paved surface and slid for several hundred feet, "catapulting" to its final stop.

Capt. Matthew Canfield said the crash is still under investigation and asks that anyone who knows anything or who heard or saw anything to call the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252.

– Gail Ober

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