2018-05-11 / In the Know

National Public Works Week is coming up

By Michael Shaw Special to the Leader

National Public Works Week is May 20-26.

Since 1960 the American Public Works Association has sought to promote the work that each public works department performs in their community.

The 2018 poster theme is The Power of Public Works.

Scarborough’s public works, along with 30,000 other public works departments throughout the United States and Canada, use this week to educate the public about the role we play in our community. It celebrates the vital role public works plays in connecting us all together.

Scarborough public works provides, maintains, and improves structures and services that assure a higher quality of life for the community.

Typical department functions include road striping, street sweeping, tree maintenance, cemetery interments, sign maintenance, waterfront maintenance and monitoring the waste collection program.

Starting in May 2018, the public works department will add the maintenance of street lights to the long list of services provided to the residents of Scarborough.

The maintenance of street lights are a result of the conversion of sodium halide street lights to LEDs.

Implementing this project offers significant financial benefits to the town. Before purchasing the lights, the town paid Central Maine Power a monthly lease fee for each fixture in addition to the cost of electricity.

The conversion is expected to save Scarborough about $92,000 a year in lease payments and up to $41,000 a year in delivery and energy supply costs.

Even though public works staff will maintain the lights, it isn’t expected to be a significant cost because LED lights have very long lives and extremely low failure rates.

If you are interested in what LED street lights will look like in Scarborough, please visit the three demonstration sites: Broadturn Road at Burnham Road, Route 1 at Sawyer Road and 201 Gorham Road.

For more information about the LED street light conversion in Scarborough, please visit the public works webpage at http://www.scarboroughmaine.org/departments/public-works/projects/ledstr....

Public works professionals take pride in their work and are always there in the background or some other capacity when needed.

With the addition of street lights to the services public works provides, we are putting the power in the Power of Public Works.

If you have any questions about this article or any public works issue you may contact me at mshaw@scarboroughmaine.org or 730-4400.

Michael Show is public works director for Scarborough.

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