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White Plains Plans to Light Streets with LED Bulbs

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- White Plains streets will soon be lit by LED light bulbs, which will be a welcome sight to some residents, including Jennifer Arco.

"Anything that is going to help White Plains in terms of saving money that would be saving energy is good," said Arco, an early childhood music teacher who moved from Manhattan to White Plains seven years ago for the urban, yet scenic environment. "It's really becoming an urban metropolis and while that process unfolds you just want to make sure that you maintain the green spaces."

The Department of Public Works is currently engaged in negotiating contracts to buy LED lighting fixtures that will eventually replace more than 6,000 sidewalk lights and lights in open-air parking lots that now run on high pressure sodium lights.

LED bulbs, which consume about 30 percent less energy than bulbs currently use, will replace old bulbs in phases with the goal of having all city streets lit by LED bulbs within six years.

"If we replaced all the lights at once, we wouldn’t be able to use in-house labor. It would just be too big of a job," said Karen Pasquale, the senior advisor to Mayor Thomas Roach. "The other advantage to that is by staggering the installation it allows us to stagger the replacement time for these lights."

White Plains representatives, including Council member Beth Smayda, said the bulbs will be a wise investment before unanimously voting to authorize beginning contract negotiations this week.

"Department of Public Works will be using existing labor and funds that are already in our capital plan to make this changeover," said Smayda. "The bulbs will pay for themselves over their life through lower energy costs and lower labor costs because instead of having to change these bulbs three times in 15 years, we'll be changing them once."

The LED light bulbs will not alter the audible prompts street lights use to assist blind pedestrians.

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