Oakmont seeks grant to change gas lamps to LED lights - Plum

Oakmont seeks grant to change gas lamps to LED lights

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 | 10:33 PM

Oakmont officials are trying once again to get state funding to flip the switch on Allegheny River Boulevard street lamps.

Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday night to seek more than $266,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to convert the natural gas lamps across from the businesses along the brick road to LED lights.

The grant is through the Multimodal Transportation Fund. Applications are due by July 31.

The state is expected to reply sometime in November.

The Oakmont Boulevard Project committee applied for the grant last year but was denied.

“We’ve talked to a number of people that still believe the project has merit,” said Joanne Anderson, committee chairwoman. “There were just so many other competing and qualified candidates last year.”

It costs the committee about $12,000 annually to keep the gas lights on. The conversion is expected to reduce that expense to about $1,200 a year.

“The LED lights give you a longer bulb life. There’s less maintenance costs for LEDs, and there’s also electrical savings,” Borough Manager Scot Fodi said.

He said the 30% match from the borough required by the grant is budgeted.

Some lights were converted in 2015 when the Hulton Bridge was replaced.

About 50 out of 60 remain powered by Peoples Gas.

“I think that we’ve been able to appreciate the new lights along Hulton Road,” council President Patricia Friday said. “To anticipate what the boulevard would look like once the lights are in place, it’s something to look forward to.”

Committee members plan to meet with state officials in the next few weeks to garner support for the grant application.