City council discusses heat, lights

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Energy-saving bulbs may illuminate community center

Managing Editor

CANNELTON – Cannelton Mayor Mary Snyder took a moment to open a common council meeting Nov. 11 by noting it was Veterans Day and offering “a special thank you” to all of the active, Reserve and National Guard members who have served and their families.

“May God bless all of them,” she said. “We really appreciate all of them.”

When the mayor went around the table asking if each of the city leaders had issues to discuss, Councilwoman Kim Reed raised two concerns. She first asked about heating at the street department’s new building. As the News reported in December and June, city leaders opted to replace a building the department was using after learning it was difficult to heat and would be expensive to insulate. The council voted last month to authorize the purchase of a gas heater for the facility.

The new heater is working well, Street Commissioner David Marsh said in response to Reed’s question. “It’s in and it’s pretty efficient.” He noted the weather hadn’t been very cold since the installation.

“Not yet,” Reed agreed with a laugh before alluding to weather expected in coming months. “We’re fixing to see if it works.”

Knowing expenses will be tight as the city moves into a new year, she also said she’d been talking to Brian Garrett, athletic director for the city’s school system, about replacing lights in the city’s community center. The current fluorescent lights have become an ongoing expense with ballasts burning out, she said, and while an investment would be needed, their replacement with another type could reduce utility bills in the long run.

Approximately five needed to be replaced immediately, the mayor said, adding she told Garrett to go ahead.

Reed said the company where she works uses lights similar to those in the community center, which is also the gymnasium used for school sports.

“As those burn out … they’re slowly going through and taking those down and getting rid of them,” she said. In their place, bulbs that are brighter and use less energy are going up.

Councilwoman Lynn Fulkerson asked if a move to higher-efficiency bulbs could occur as the current bulbs burn out, spreading their cost.

“If you need five, you hate to spend the money on the old bulbs if they’re that expensive,” she noted.

The mayor said she’d ask Garrett to talk to an electrician about options.
In other business, the council adopted a resolution allowing Snyder to seek other funding after a grant opportunity didn’t pan out. The city leaders are seeking money to separate sanitary wastewater from storm sewers to comply with a mandate from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.