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Central Energy Trust boosts lighting project

10 April 2014

Central Energy Trust boosts project to improve safety and vibrancy in the central city

Central Energy Trust has granted $400,000 towards the Under Veranda Lighting Project which aims to improve visibility in the central city in an environmentally conscious manner.

The Under Veranda Lighting Project was created following a deputation to Palmerston North City Council from the Palmerston North Safety Advisory Board about the poor grade of under veranda lighting in the City.

A comprehensive survey of under veranda lighting found public street lighting is designed primarily for the needs of traffic and not pedestrians; Dim and inconsistent lighting along the shop fronts and under veranda’s gives off an unsafe feeling; And, many lights are not being maintained. It t also found that property owners were either unaware that lights were not working, or they had switched off the lights to save costs.

Palmerston North mayor Jono Naylor says Council is currently seeking feedback from the public about its draft Annual Plan which includes the Under Veranda Lighting Project which has a budget of $605,000.

“The generous grant from Central Energy Trust grant will mean we only require $205,000 of that proposal.”

Council is investigating the use of LED lighting, which uses 50% less power and costs 50% less than standard lights to maintain. However more importantly, LED light is whiter; it gives better vertical and horizontal definition, making the Police’s task of identification far easier, and makes for a far safer environment for the general public. Other lighting technologies will also be given consideration.

“Cities across the world that have introduced LED have noticed a decrease in crime and an increase in the public’s perception of safety. LED lighting will improve the appearance of buildings and public spaces at night time. It will, alongside the cameras that operate in the City Centre, help reassure residents and visitors that they are safe and able to go about their legitimate business.

Mayor Naylor says the project is a great follow-up to the redevelopment of The Square and refurbishment of CCTV cameras, both of which Central Energy Trust helped fund. These projects not only improved the safety of The Square but it also improved people’s perceptions, making them feel safe. Now it’s time to help spread that safe feeling further into the CBD.

“It’s also particularly pleasing to be announcing this grant just weeks away from being accredited as a World Health Organisation Safe City. This project is one of the many projects being carried out in our community to improve safety.”
Roading manager Graeme Tong says that if the project is adopted in the draft Annual Plan then work will start in the second half of this year.

He says the project will include:
• Disconnecting existing under veranda lighting from the switchboards of 227 buildings and make them electrically safe
• Reconnect the new lighting facilities directly to the Powerco Street Lighting network
• Enter each of the replacement lights into the Council RAMM database for maintenance and metering purposes

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