Lighting at Pelham youth baseball fields need upgrade

Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall said it would cost $609,000 to $630,000 to install LED lights at all six baseball fields. (Contributed)

Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall said it would cost $609,000 to $630,000 to install LED lights at all six baseball fields. (File)

By BRIANA HARRIS / Staff Writer

PELHAM – Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall said it’s time for the lights at each of Pelham’s six youth baseball fields to be replaced.

Crandall said the city has been using the same type of metal halide lights for more than 30 years and has been spending $30,000 to $40,000 every year to maintain them.

“We seem to be paying more and more each year to keep them working,” Crandall said. “The longer the lights stay up the dimmer they get, so after a while you end up with dark and unlit spots on the field.”

Crandall said he would like to replace the existing bulbs with LED ones at each of the six youth baseball fields, which would cost $609,000 to $630,000. The light poles would not be replaced.

He said it would cost $803,000 to fix all of the problems with the existing lights.

“We’ve got to do something, there’s no question about that,” he said.

The LED lights Crandall would like to install come with a 10-year warranty. Ideally, Crandall said he would like for the funds needed to replace the baseball field lights to be included in parks and recreation’s fiscal 2017 budget.

“The city would not have to pay maintenance costs for 10 years and they’re a huge energy saver, which would lower our electricity bill tremendously,” he said. “These lights would basically pay for themselves in 10 years.”

Crandall said he would also like to replace the lights at the tennis center and the youth football fields with LED lights.

He said the lights at the tennis center are about 20 years old and would cost $250,000 to $275,000 to replace the light poles and bulbs.

The City Council is in the process of reviewing its budget for fiscal 2017, which begins Oct. 1.