Salem Streetlights: Solutions for a Sustainable System

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Title: Salem Streetlights: Solutions for a Sustainable System
Author: Landis, Joshua; Moore, Caroline; Mosley, Rachel; Ruderman, Chris; Skinner, Seth; Chrisinger, Colleen
Abstract: Currently, the City of Salem provides approximately 10,500 streetlights for the safety and well-being of its residents. These streetlights cost the city roughly 1.5 million dollars per year in combined electricity and maintenance costs, representing 20 percent of Public Works Department expenditures. The city uses a combination of ownership and rental options in partnership with two electric utilities, Portland General Electric (PGE) and Salem Electric (SE). The shared ownership model has contributed to a system with over 100 combinations of lights and ballasts. The city has identified this streetlight system as an important opportunity to increase the efficiency of government operations and the long-term stability of financial resources. In conjunction with the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year program, the City of Salem commissioned a team of students in a Masters of Public Administration Capstone course at the University of Oregon to recommend a more sustainable model for their streetlight operations. The city seeks a streetlighting system that is financially and politically sustainable in an era of public/private partnerships, regulatory change, rising energy costs, and unstable government revenue. At the same time, Salem is considering the environmental cost and benefits of their municipal infrastructure.The following report examines available mechanisms to improve the sustainability of Salem’s streetlight operations. The first section defines Salem’s streetlight operations problems and provides a survey of possible solutions. The remaining portions of the report provide in-depth analysis of the most suitable alternatives and recommended actions for the city to achieve more sustainable streetlight operations.
Description: 49 pages
Date: 2010

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