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The town is using $90,000 out of its Green Communities grant to switch out the downtown street lights to more energy efficient LEDs.

Adams Planning to Upgrade Park Street's Lights

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen have voted to use $90,000 from the town's Green Communities grant to install new energy efficient lights on Park Street.
The 175 light bulbs in the downtown area will be replaced with the much more light-emitting diodes.
"In addition to being energy efficient and better for the environment we will save quite a bit on the maintenance costs," Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco told the board last week. "We do spend quite a bit on the globes."
The town qualified for the Green Communities Program last year. If communities meet the program's standards, they can secure funds for energy efficient projects. 
Mazzucco said the town switched light vendors because the original vendor, although local, fell behind on delivering the lights. The installation, however, will be done by a local company.
"I think it's the best we are going to get, and we will be able to use a local vendor for the installation," he said. "They said they can get it done between 30 to 60 days so I will cautiously say by the end of the calendar year." 
Mazzucco said some test bulbs were installed across from Chee's Chinese Cuisine and that they are a whiter light that will be brighter.
"I know some people are concerned about losing that pinkish hue that we get downtown at night and it will change to a more sterile look but there are savings," he said.  
He said the lights are also shielded and point downwards so there will be less light pollution and Park Street residents who live in the upper levels of the buildings won't be bothered by the lights. 
The Water District will see the actual savings because it pays for the electricity the lights use on Park Street. The conservative estimate of the annually savings is from $10,000 to $15,000, Mazzucco said.
The town will see a savings when it comes to the maintenance of the units that will last longer and are self-contained in the globe.
"The current globes get dirty and they get painted over over time," Mazzucco said. "We can't really replace 175 of them at $200 bucks a pop and to better the look of them would be on the expensive side."  
In other business last Wednesday, Town Assessor Donna MacDonald said the town is making changes to the senior property tax work-off program that allows eligible seniors to work for the town in exchange for money towards their taxes.
"The first year we had all the slots filled and as the years went by, it slowly went down," she said. "So this year we would like to make it more feasible and more attractive to some of the seniors that did not qualify because it is income based."
She said seniors ages 60 and up are eligible and will be compensated $990 toward their taxes instead of $500. The income eligibility has been increased so that senior households making $34,001 and or less can apply for the 10 open positions.
"Last year, it was $27,000 so it has gone up considerably and we are hoping that more people will qualify and give us some of their help and insight," she said.
Seniors must work a minimum of 90 hours and pass a physical. Those interested can contact the assessors' office. 
The Selectmen also approved a request from a Gould Road resident who wants to tap into the town sewer. 
"It is entirely at their cost there is no cost to the town," Mazzucco said. "It will be on the side of the road and won't affect the road and they signed an agreement that releases the town from all liability."
Mazzucco said the Gould Road resident will also place money into an escrow account just in case changes need to be made to the line when the Greylock Glen gets up in running. 
He said town meeting will have to vote to officially approve the easement but the Selectmen's approval will allow construction to start this fall.
"It is another great example of folks who have purchased property in our community and want to invest quite a lot of money in the property," Mazzucco said. "We are happy they are here."  
The Selectmen also approved two gasoline tank storage installations: one at the former Goodwill property on Howland Avenue for a proposed gas station and the other at 7-Eleven on Columbia Street.

Tags: green communities,   street lights,   

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