By Jonathan McNamara
FRANKLINTON — The town hosted an open house Tuesday to help residents understand the street light program that will save the town money and add uniformity.
As previously reported by The Franklin Weekly, the town is spending $61,000 per year on the current 434 streetlights, the sodium vapor orange-glowing lights Franklinton is illuminated with.
“Franklinton has more lights per capita than any other town in the Duke Energy Progress service area, which includes Raleigh, most of eastern North Carolina and parts of South Carolina,” Mayor Elic Senter said at a town board meeting in September.
The town’s public works department marked light poles within the corporate limits with orange tape to map the lights. These maps were presented at the open house at the town hall annex, for residents to see and provide feedback.
The open house allowed residents to request keeping or removing poles or make general comments. Residents could also walk out onto Mason Street and see the new LED lighting the town plans to use in the other street lights.
The current sodium vapor lights cost roughly $11 each, per month to operate. The new LED lights will cost around $6 apiece, saving the town money, said Town Manager Tammy Ray.
According to statistical handouts provided by the town during the open house, the plan to change the bulbs to LED and remove 100 lights would provide a total savings of $28,500.
If the town elects to keep all the lights already in place and switch the bulbs that will save the town $18,500.
Either plan has to be voted on, which is scheduled for the Nov. 3 town board meeting.
“If all goes well I hope to have the transition completed by Jan. 1,” Senter said Tuesday.