HAMMONTON - The Town of Hammonton may soon be getting a light makeover.
At its monthly meeting on Feb. 27, Hammonton Town Council hosted two presentations — one about adding lights to athletic fields and the other about replacing the type of bulbs used in street lights.
Council approved the first reading of the ordinance, which appropriates $2.25M for the two projects — $650,000 for the lighting improvements to the recreational fields and $1.6M for the conversion to LED (light-emitting diodes) lights for most of the street lights in town.
According to the presentation given by Atlantic City Electric, the town will save at least 50 percent by switching to LED lights, which also emit a brighter white light than the more yellow High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs currently being used.
The LEDs also have a longer-lasting bulbs, which won’t need maintenance for at least 15 years, according to the presentation.
“Right now you are probably looking at 50 percent savings over the HPS with the LED lights,” said Tim Bateman a Field Engineer for Atlantic City Electric. “I will say this, it looks like from at least the last rate-base case we had, it is actually separating. The cost-difference is growing.”
The entire town will be included in the project except for Bellevue Avenue, which has custom-made lights.
Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato said that switching to LED lights will save the town roughly $19,500 a month.
“It pays for itself in about eight, eight and a half years and after that it will be a $234,000 savings a year,” DiDonato said. “That’s based on today’s electric rates. Our friends at Atlantic City Electric have been good keeping costs (down). As the costs increase our savings will increase because we will be saving 50, 60 or 75-percent.”
The other project will be erecting lights at the Hammonton Recreational Complex, where the Hammonton Youth Soccer Association plays its game, and at William Capella Field, where the Hammonton Hawks junior football teams will play.
The lights at the soccer complex will illuminate one full field and roughly half of another where teams may warm up before their games. Along with lights for the football field, town council asked for lights to be added to two poles so part of an adjoining field can also be lit so teams can practice or warm-up prior to a game.
Bob Zoeller from Musco Sports Lighting said that the lights at William Capella Field will have little to no impact to the streets next to the field. The newer technology in lights have no glare and most of the light will shine directly on the field.
If approved, the project is expected to be completed sometime in the summer, maybe as early as June and as late as the beginning of August.
“I want to thank the town for even contemplating this,” HYSA President Paul Massey said. “It’s been a dream of ours for a very long time.”
Town Council also:
• Heard from the Hammonton Historic Society, which will be releasing both a print and digital guide so residents can take a self-guided walking tour of historic parts of the town. Starting April 1, they will offer guided tours as well.
• Heard from the Hammonton Arts Center which is looking to raise-money for rent. Its building is for sale and the rent has increased. They have a shortfall of at least $200 a month. Memberships are still available and are also looking for a benefactor to help with costs. They can be reached at (609) 567-5360.
•• Honored Elise Deming, a dietician at ShopRite, since March is Nutrition Month.
The next scheduled monthly meeting is 7 p.m. on March 27 at Town Hall.