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Sustainable street lighting; Coming to a street near you?

New street lights in Roscoe, NY.
Contributed photo

By Isabel Braverman
February 13, 2013

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Three towns in Sullivan County have signed the Climate Smart Community Pledge, a partnership between local and state governments with a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are Town of Tusten, Town of Lumberland and Town of Delaware. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) Advisory Board is a citizens’ advisory group formed by a Sullivan County legislative resolution. Its purpose is to generate a greenhouse gas inventory for the county and to make specific recommendations in the form of a Climate Action Plan to assist the county in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. The first such topic they are addressing is lighting. They want to change street lighting to more energy efficient street fixtures; an initiative that Roscoe has already undertaken.

The downtown area of Roscoe is now shining with new lights that are an energy efficient upgrade from the previous outdated lights, according to Roscoe resident Pat Pomeroy. She said funding for the lights came from Sullivan Renaissance, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and grants, specifically the Golden Feather Grant and the Ultimate Fishing Town award. Roscoe, however, did not go for the most efficient alternative currently available, LED lights, because it did not feel they are worth their higher cost.

The question of “to LED or not to LED” is one that a number of towns are grappling with, because they are more expensive than other types of lights. Larry Richardson of the CAP Advisory Board has led the task force research on the subject so far. He wears many hats in addition to his CAP board membership, including being a councilman for the Town of Cochecton, a representative on the Upper Delaware Council and the vice president of Yaun Company, Inc. in Liberty, a wholesale distributor for heating and plumbing supplies. Richardson is an advocate of energy efficient lighting, saying it is cost efficient and good for the environment.