A new street light program hopes to save money and bring uniformity to the town.
By Jonathan McNamara
FRANKLINTON — Tuesday’s Franklinton town board meeting began with Mayor Elic Senter working to “put myths to rest” and clear up misconceptions that have evolved since last month’s meeting over the street light initiative.
According to Senter, the town is spending approximately $68,000 per year on streetlights, the sodium vapor, orange glowing lights Franklinton is illuminated with.
“Franklinton has more light per capita than any other town in the Duke Progress Energy service area, which includes Raleigh, most of eastern North Carolina and parts of South Carolina,” said Senter.
The town will not be cutting off the streetlights or even half the streetlights as some residents feared walking into the board meeting.
The town has started marking light-poles throughout the town with orange tape in an effort to design a map of the lights in question.
Town administrators, with the help of Cree, a leading lighting technology company in Durham, have decided to use a portion of Mason Street stretching from Hillsborough Street to Main Street as an experiment.
On Oct. 28, the town will hold a public open house at the town hall annex building to allow residents to see the maps, share their input and walk out onto Mason Street and see the new LED lighting the town hopes to use in the other street lights. The town hopes to install the new lights by December. The light bulbs are currently on backorder, according to Senter.
The light from the LED lighting is a whiter light that is brighter and will cover more area. While the current sodium vapor lights cost roughly $11 a light, per month to operate, the new LED lights will cost around $6 a light, saving the town money.
With the brighter, more effective lighting, the town can adjust placement of current lights and possibly remove unnecessary lights, saving even more money.
According to Senter, the town will have a better idea on the actual savings at the open house.
Residents are urged to call the town hall at 919-494-2520 if there is orange tape on a light pole they have concerns about.
•A special permit was issued to Franklinton High School for its downtown homecoming parade Sept. 27, from 4-5 p.m.
•The last Movies on Main event will be held Saturday, Sept. 21. The feature film will be Hotel Transylvania.
•A community yard sale will be held Oct. 5 from 7 a.m. to noon on Main Street.
•A parks and recreations workshop will be held at the town hall annex Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.
•Town hall will be closed Oct. 14 in observance of Columbus Day.