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Posted: 04/08/09

DDA could consider LED
lights for Main Street

Observer Staff Writer
      Main Street could see brighter days in the future.
       The Romeo Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has discussed the option of having LED lights replace the streetlights on Main Street.
       DDA Coordinator Janine Saputo said she looked into light-emitting diode (LED) lights when pursuing a downtown revitalization grant opportunity from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
       She said the time frame didn't allow for them to apply by the April 3 deadline, as the grant required a detailed budget for a shovel-ready project with established concept plans.
       "We could not come up with a project that the DDA quite had right, and I don't know that the village had one ready either," she said.
       The grant did, though, inspire her to look at LED adaptations of the 79 streetlights in Romeo's central business district. She said she would like the DDA to consider having Rauhorn Electric present the concept of LEDs lights to it and the village.
       "Even if you just listen to what the technology is and the adaptation for historic districts," she said.
       Village President Paul Reiz, the Village Council's DDA liaison, was concerned about the negatives outweighing the positives by switching to the technology.
       "We're not sure whether these streetlights are readily adaptable . . . you'll find that a lot of light fixtures aren't easily adaptable to the LEDs and could shorten the life of them," he said.
       He was also concerned that LED lights would be too bright compared to the current lights on Main Street.
       Ann Arbor is currently becoming one of the first cities in the U.S. to use 100-percent LED lighting. They have replaced 1,000 streetlights in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, and expect an annual savings of $100,000 from the initial 1,000 LED streetlights installed.

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