Street Lights and Paving

There was another article in the Journal on a possible street light assessment in the future.    The comments after the article made it clear to me that people don’t understand how this process works.

Duke is approaching us to convert the lights to LED.  One of the ways they keep costs down is to conserve energy so they don’t have to build additional plants, etc., to supply the area.  The cost saving of using LED street lights, at least with the initial calculations, are more than the costs of conversion.

What that means is that we will borrow the money to convert the lights to LED.  We will take out a fairly short term loan.  During the loan period, the cost savings in electricity by using LED lighting will pay not only for the loan payment but also add additional savings on our electric costs for street lights.  Once the loan is paid off, we will get the entire benefit of the LED conversion cost savings for the life of the poles.   It is a win for Duke in conserving energy, a win for the city in reduced costs for street lights, and a win for the residents as the freed up funding can be redirected to other priorities.

There were a couple of other comments about the city not doing any paving.  The Central Avenue paving project was over $3 million.  Verity Parkway was over $1 million.  The widening of Oxford State and the extension of Yankee Road cost over $ 7 million.

Here are the Capital Projects in the 2017 budget:

General Capital Fund:

Local Street Paving  $ 1,200,000  (See below for streets)

Gateway Enhancements (I-75)  $ 75,000

Yankee Road – Phase 3  $3,980,000

Traffic/Parks/Buildings    $ 205,000

  Total:     $5,460,000

Water Fund:

Water Facility Upgrades  $   100,000

Yankee Road – Phase 3  $2,000,000

Kensington Pump Station Upgrade  $   500,000

Meter Replacement Contract  $  80,021

GIS Improvements  $     10,000

  Total:  $2,690,021

Sewer Fund:

WWTP Upgrades   $ 500,000

System Replacement  $ 690,000

Long Term Control Plan  $ 990,000

Meter Replacement Contract  $   80,021

GIS Improvements  $   10,000

  Total:  $2,270,021

Storm Water Fund:

Yankee Road Imp. – Phase 3  $700,000

Local Street Paving  $250,000

Gateway Drainage   $ 75,000

System Replacement Program  $ 50,000

NPDES Compliance  $ 50,000

  Total:  $1,125,000

Below are the local streets we intend to pave in 2017:

OPWC Funded Paving Project  Estimated Cost = $1.45M plus assessments for sidewalk, curb and gutter

Central Avenue between Breiel Boulevard and Marshall Road

Main St. between 11th Avenue and 18th Avenue

Kensington Street between Central Avenue and Grand Avenue

Wicklow Drive between Limerick Lane and Cambridge Drive

Limerick Lane (all)

Poppy Drive (all)

Heinkel Road between Poppy Drive and Central Avenue

City Crew Paving   Estimated Cost (gas tax fund) = $300K plus assessments for sidewalk, curb and gutter

Philadelphia Ave. (all)

Carolina St. between Roosevelt and Burbank

Shelley St. (all)

El Camino Dr. (all)

Ocala Dr. (all)

Catalina Dr. (all)

We are also budgeting to replace the roof at the city building, the roof at the Community Center and to rebuild one of the two chillers that service the City building.

There was a nice article in the Wall Street Journal a couple months ago discussing paving shortages nationwide:  Local Highway Drivers Bear Brunt of Road Funding Gap (WSJ Aug 24, 2016).  In that article, it was noted that nationwide, roughly 35% of non-interstate urban roads are in poor condition.   We are closer to 46% in Middletown, but the problem of failing to pave is a nationwide problem, not just Middletown.

I can’t do it all at once, but city staff and your City Council are working very hard to return us to sustainably paving every year.  It’s a big hole to dig out of and it will take a lot of time and money and effort to get all of our roads back in decent shape again.

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