Pittsburgh government's competition over who decides how to modernize the city's 40,000 street lights continued Wednesday, with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl inviting firms to submit ideas on how to start installing energy efficient lights.
The aim is to cut the city's bill for powering and maintaining street lights -- which now totals some $4.2 million -- down to $2.5 million or less, while improving the quality of lighting and the environment. Mr. Ravenstahl wants firms to gather for a meeting on Feb. 25, and then submit their ideas by March 11, in what he called a bid for "a win-win situation for taxpayers and the environment, and just the beginning of our efforts to be more energy-efficient."
On Dec. 15, Councilman William Peduto announced his own push for "a plan that saves taxpayers millions of dollars, while also protecting the environment" for "a win-win situation." He followed up the next day with pending legislation setting up a timetable for choosing, by the end of August, a contractor to replace all of the city's lights.
Mr. Peduto held a special meeting of council attended by at least nine light vendors, and has a public hearing set for 10 a.m. Monday in Council Chamber.
Mr. Peduto wants Carnegie Mellon University's lighting experts to help create a new model for evaluating illumination options, while Mr. Ravenstahl wants the University of Pittsburgh's School of Engineering to ensure a fair, competitive process. Mr. Peduto is sure that light-emitting diode lights would be the best option, while Mr. Ravenstahl wants to consider LED, induction and metal halide lights.
Rich Lord can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1542.