LED lighting to be installed at youth baseball fields

PELHAM – Dora-based Titan Electric Inc., with a bid of $89,329, was awarded the contract to install LED lights at four of the city’s youth baseball fields by the Pelham City Council at a meeting on Monday, Dec. 19.

Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall said Pelham will be the only parks and recreation department in the state to have LED lights on their baseball fields. Crandall said the lighting upgrades will set Pelham apart from surrounding parks and recreation facilities and will open the door for more opportunities for travel ball tournaments.

Crandall said more travel ball tournaments equates to a greater economic impact on the city as a whole.

In addition, Crandall said the LED lights, which come with a 10-year labor and maintenance warranty, will be a “huge money-saver” for the city.

The city has a $24,500 contract with electrical engineer company Gunn and Associates to oversee and develop the drawings for the project, and the LED lighting from Musco Sports Lighting is costing the city $350,000.

“The LED lights are supposed to give a daytime look so you can see everything,” Crandall said.

Musco Sports Lighting provided lighting for the 2016 Little League Baseball World Series and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Their lights are installed at Alabama’s Sewell-Thomas Stadium and the Florida Gators’ indoor football practice facility.

The installation of the lights are expected to be complete by mid-March, before the start of youth baseball on March 18, 2017.

The total cost of the project is $463,829. However, because LED lights are energy efficient, it is expected to completely pay for itself in 10 years or less.

“The lights are going to be a great product for the city and we’re ready to make it happen,” Crandall said. “Very rarely do you get to put something with a huge outflow of money attached to it and it pays for itself in a few years.”

The total cost of the project also came in $65,170 less than what the city had originally projected. The city set aside $529,000 in its fiscal 2017 budget to cover the cost of the project.

Crandall said the current metal halide lights have been installed for more than 30 years and costs the city $50,000 to $60,000 each year in maintenance.

Next year Crandall said he hopes to install new lighting at the two remaining baseball fields and the nine tennis courts at the City Park Complex.