February 2016 Newsletter
Greetings Ward 14!
Great news! You have an extra day in February! I’ll be making sure that the City is using that extra day — and the other 365 — wisely, and I want to mention a couple of ways we’ll be doing. Let’s leap right in to it.
LED Streetlights in Ward 14
The lights we use to brighten our streets at night have a huge impact on this city, and not just in terms of better visibility. They require us to produce energy, they can cause light pollution, and they often need to be replaced. I am happy to say that in 2015 we began retrofitting streetlights for new light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, and will continue into 2018 until the retrofitting of 80,000 streetlights is complete. They will be replacing the high pressure sodium lights that the City has been using for some time now.
The financial benefits of the project are clear. With all the lights installed we expect to save $1 million annually on maintenance costs, and $5 million in annual electricity costs. But there are also some benefits that are not as easily represented in a financial statement. They will reduce energy consumption by up to 50% - the equivalent of powering 2,820 homes per year—and will drastically reduce light pollution. I think you’ll find you’ll be able to see better too.
The LED streetlights are coming to Ward 14 very soon. Silverado is scheduled for retrofitting during the first quarter of 2016, and the rest of Ward 14 will be done during the third and fourth quarters. Let me know what you think of them!
Interactive Parks and Roads Map
As I write this just a little before Christmas, the Roads department, Parks department, and I are hoping for some snow to test a project that we have been working on. We had an exceptional amount of snow during the winter of 2013 / 2014, and we learned many things from the experience. Based on people’s comments to my office, the lack of communication between the City’s crews and its headquarters became very apparent. A highlighted map was literally the only way for us to know what had been cleared and what had not.
The result of our work will be real-time information not only on what roads and pathways have been cleared of snow, but eventually what parks have been mowed as well. It will be available to the public in an online map made possible with GPS outfitted equipment. It is a significant step forward in the level of service that we provide citizens. All we need are two significant snowfalls to test the system out. Hopefully we will have had them by the time you read this.
Thank you to everyone who attend Counciltalk in January. If you didn’t get a chance, or would like another opportunity, the next one will be on February 27 at the Chaparral Resident’s Association Lakehouse (225 Chaparral Drive SE) from noon to 2 p.m. If you can’t make that one there are other opportunities listed at calgary.ca/counciltalk, or you could sign up to get reminders of all the Counciltalk dates at calgary.ca/ward14connect.
Have a wonderful February, and don’t forget that you can always contact me.
- Councillor Peter Demong