The Hailey City Council on Monday passed the second reading of an ordinance that, once finalized, would give the city the green light to upgrade its current streetlamp design.
The current single-arm, army-green streetlamps seen across Hailey are no longer in production, according to the city. The replacement design would consist of a 16-foot-tall, U-shaped black pole and head made of aluminum and steel. An additional arm would be fixed onto the poles to display flower baskets from spring to fall.
“We discovered in the last year that our existing street light fixture was no longer available, so we started on the research for a new one,” Community Development Director Lisa Horowitz said. “We felt that maybe it was a good time to look at a simple, complementary fixture that brought in more contemporary elements.”
In an interview Thursday, Hailey Public Works Director Brian Yeager said the new streetlights would first be installed along River Street, which does not currently have any. If the council adopts the new streetlight standard for the city at its next meeting, he said, new lights on Main Street “would not be apparent” for years to come.
“On Main Street you wouldn’t even see a difference, but when you pull a block over on River you would notice a change,” he said.
As for Main Street, the city still has “two to three” original army-green streetlights in stock and would use those as replacements if any lights on Main fail, which is unusual, he said.
“What we would do [if a light needs replacement] is go down to one end of town or the other, pull off one of the older lights and put it in that string of lights so they all match, and then slowly start replacing the streetlights from the outer limits inward,” he said. “We would not want to be putting a new type of streetlight in the middle of a string of five or six existing lights on Main Street.”
Due to the expense of solar equipment—$10,000 to $12,000 per streetlight—and limited battery life, the city of Hailey is looking at LED luminaires, or electrical units, and at purchasing power from Idaho’s Green Power Program at 1 cent per kilowatt hour.
Cost is based on the amount of energy used each month and will vary with use, according to the city. If the city hypothetically used 1,000 kilowatt hours in one month, for example, $10 would be added to its bill.
Ketchum adopted solar-powered streetlights around 10 years ago, but “the batteries are lasting only about two years, and cost about $2,000 to replace,” according to a city of Hailey report.
“[Ketchum] also found that during days with inclement weather, performance was poor—lighting was dim or nonexistent, as there was not enough charge in the battery to operate,” the report stated.
The city of Ketchum has since shifted from a solar-powered streetlight model to one that uses LED luminaires. Hailey is proposing LED luminaires with a warm temperature of 2,700 Kelvin temperature, Horowitz said.