The Shenandoah City Council voted April 10 to acquire three solar-powered street lights for a trial program to determine whether to install the solar-powered lights throughout Shenandoah Valley.
HDR & MilleClaunchr, an engineering firm, provided the council a design plan at the meeting to add 71 street lights to the neighborhood for about $715,000. Shenandoah City Administrator Greg Smith said the funding comes from leftover bond proceeds from the construction of Shenandoah Valleys 1, 2 and 3.
However, the city recently discovered the concept of using solar panels to light the LED lights and has studied the idea, Smith said. Using solar panels to light the 71 street lights would cost the city about $40,000 less, would eliminate about $2,000–$3,000 in annual electricity costs, would not require additional engineering and would not require construction in residents' yards.
The lights would also stay on during power outages and could take anywhere from 2–3 weeks to install, compared to a longer construction period for traditional street lights.
"I remember going seven long days during Hurricane Ike without streetlights," Mayor Wes Stephens said. "It's very appealing to me to have lights on the streets when the power is out."
City of Shenandoah, Shenandoah Municipal Complex, 29955 I-45 N., 281-298-5522, www.shenandoahtx.com
May 22, 7 p.m.