Keep ‘em lit: Just a couple of the 22,000 lights in Limerick city and county
IT COST €2.6 million to light up Limerick in 2016.
The illuminating figure is broken up into €900,000 on maintenance, repairs and replacements and €1.7m on energy. In a presentation to Cappamore-Kilmallock municipal district meeting, Trevor McKechnie said there are some 22,000 public lights in the city and county.
The senior executive engineer said they have funding for operation and maintenance but “no budget for new lights”.
“The focus is to move to energy efficient lighting. There is a cost saving, less maintenance and 12 to 15 year guarantee,” said Mr McKechnie. Out of the 22,000 lights, just 900 are modern LEDs.
Apart from a €200,000 grant from the TII, the rest of the cost is borne by the council. Examples of repairs include bulb replacement, vegetation removal, column failures, fuse units and cable faults. Around €55,000 a month is spent on repairs.
Since he was elected, Cllr Gerald Mitchell has regularly brought up the “poor public lighting” in Hospital.
“When you pass through Hospital at night time a lot of people have complained that it is very dark. We have had a lot of tragedies in the town,” Cllr Mitchell has said. Last September, a man in his sixties died after he was hit by a car when he was walking home at 1am.
“The lighting is a big problem. It’s a health and safety issue and has to be tackled,” said Cllr Mitchell, who gave an example of a person almost walking “into the river” because it was so dark and had to be called back.
Cllr Brigid Teefy said 22,000 lights was “astronomical” and also said that Hospital was “quite dark”.
Cllr Noel Gleeson said the emphasis should be on replacing the Sox lamp types, or orange lights, of which there are 11,000.
Mr McKechnie said it would cost €70,000 just to replace the existing lights in Hospital. He said it would have to be done on a phased basis. Hospital is on a future works programme on non-national roads for end of life lights and column failures with Croom, Patrickswell, Milford Grange and Elm Park.
A submission has been made to the TII for a grant for replacement of existing stock on the national road network in Foynes, Devon Cross, Boher, Beary’s Cross, Grange Cross, Clarina, Coolanoran, Croagh, Croom bypass, Pallasgreen and Adare.
Mr McKechnie gave a list of completed repair and replacement schemes and the cost - Cratloe Road, €30,000; Brookville, €57,000; Hyde Road, €42,000; Kilbane Estate, €15,000; Briarfield, €31,000; Athea, €43,000; Rathkeale, €37,000 and Mulcair Road, €23,000.
Cllr Mike Donegan said Banogue needed improved public lighting. “There was a fatality there recently. People pay their Property Tax and deserve reasonable lighting,” said Cllr Donegan. Cllr Lisa Marie Sheehy said that some poles don’t have numbers on them which makes it difficult to report the location if they need to be repaired.
On a “lighter” note, Cllr Bill O’Donnell asked why there are so many lights at the Croom bypass. “Somebody will land a plane there one of these days. You can see it from space!” said Cllr O’Donnell.