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Lights may cost more than planned

April 23, 2008
By Micaiah Wise, Sentinel reporter,
MIFFLINTOWN — The conversion of incandescent traffic signals to energy efficient lights in Juniata County may cost more than originally planned, said Megan Epler, of SEDA-COG, in a Tuesday report to the Juniata County Commissioners.

However, SEDA-COG expects to reimburse the county for a portion of the cost, Epler said.

Matt Kenepp, from Penn DOT, said the lights in Fayette Township are “antiquated” and likely will cost more to replace. The new L.E.D., or light emitting diode, bulbs may not fit in the old housing units, he said.

Because of this, the cost for Fayette may jump to almost $5,000, he said.

The average cost for the change is $3,000, Epler said. Exact figures for the projects will be provided at a later date, she said.

The lights will be replaced in the four county municipalities who have traffic lights: Mifflintown Borough and Walker, Fermanagh and Fayette townships, Epler said.

The commissioners approved a motion to accept the extra expenditure in the event that the cost would be more than originally planned.

“It is critical that we save energy,” said Commissioner Dale Shelley, before casting his “yes” vote.

The cost can be absorbed through the liquid fuels reserve fund, said Commissioner Teresa O’Neal.

A grant for the project will reimburse the county approximately $1,000 per intersection, Epler said.

The municipalities will be responsible for future costs, she said. Epler plans to meet with municipality officials to discuss their roles in the change, she said.

Epler and Kenepp also recommended that the county hire one contractor to install the four replacements. The commissioners agreed to hire a single contractor for the project.

The effort to change the bulbs is to improve energy efficiency for traffic lights, Epler said.

According to studies, L.E.D. lights reduce the amount of energy used by 85 to 90 percent and reduce the cost approximately 80 percent.

Juniata County Commissioners approved the replacement of the lights in December.

SEDA-COG plans to provide overall management of the project to upgrade a total of 195 traffic signals located in nine of the counties within its region — which includes Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and Snyder counties — by the summer of 2008. The estimated cost of the total project is about $600,000.

In other business, the commissioners approved the application for county aid submitted by Port Royal Borough to encumber 2008 liquid fuel funds for a future project in the amount of $2,725.83.


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