PARKER, Fla. - The City of Parker is lighting the way. Literally.
The city is falling in line with other major cities throughout the country by switching from traditional high-pressure sodium lighting to LED street lighting.
The city has installed 20 new LED lights within it's borders. The lights are located along the curve on Business 98 and Tyndall Parkway.
"Just in the last few months, the LED option became available. When we started investigating that, we said, 'This is really super.' So I had my public works guy get with the local Gulf Power person. They went out and did a survey and said, 'Here are some of the areas that we think could provide some real assistance in having brighter area,'" said Mayor of Parker Rich Musgrave.
Improving street lighting has been a conversation in Parker for the past few years, but it wasn't until a pedestrian fatality last year that made officials begin looking harder into options.
"You have so many lives that are touched by a single incident, and if there's any way - whatever we can do as a city - to try to cut down or decline the possibility of those kind of incidents, then I think that's one of the benefits we provide to our citizens and to the community at large," said Musgrave.
The City of Parker is making the change in partnership with Gulf Power. Parker currently pays about $180 per month for the standard lighting. The price for the same amount of LED lights is around $360 per month. Mayor Musgrave says the price is worth the benefit.
"It's about double the price, but, again, it's far cheaper than if you've got every third pole and you have to do every pole. I mean, you're going to triple the price at that point," said Musgrave.
Mayor Musgrave says he is pleased with the results so far.
"I've been down driving around the paper mill, and it's just night and day difference. We're thrilled with how it's happened, and, as we can afford it, we'll move forward and eventually get coverage throughout the whole city," said Musgrave.
Mayor Musgrave says the only areas they won't install LED lights would be small streets and neighborhoods due to the brightness. He hopes to have full coverage throughout the city by the end of the calendar year.
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