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Grant money could lead to LED lights in downtown Sharon

Officials in Sharon, Pennsylvania are trying to find more grant money to help the city install LED lights throughout the downtown area, according to The Herald. The city first received an $800,000 grant in 2004 as part of the Streetscape project. However, in the time since, the price for the project has gone up to $1.1 million, and city officials are hoping to find the additional $300,000 necessary to complete the installation of LED streetlights from West Hill to Sharpsville Avenue in downtown Sharon.

"I really believe that if we don't upgrade the project to LED then it's a mistake," City Manager Scott Andrejchak ​told the news source. "I think it's important because the project is so important to the city, to the businesses. We have a chance to make a good project better."

While purchasing the new LED lights will not be a cheap endeavor for the city - each luminary costs approximately $1,200 - the long-term savings are hard to argue with. According to ENERGY STAR, LED lights use at least 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulb types. Additionally, LED lighting lasts between 35 to 50 times longer than traditional lights, with less need for repairs or maintenance. Saving on electricity and maintenance costs will more than offset the initial overhead and investment costs of the project.

Andrejchak is currently in the process of meeting with city officials and public voters to help secure the Keystone Community Program grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development. If successful in his effort, the installation of the LED streetlights could begin in July, with the entire project completed by the beginning of August.