PIEDMONT – During Tuesday’s Piedmont City Council work session, the council heard a presentation from MUSCO Lighting Field Sales Representative Gaines Todd concerning the lighting at the Piedmont Sports Complex.
MUSCO, which has been in business almost 45 years, utilizes LED lighting technology. Some of the recent projects they’ve worked on within the state include the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium and Jordan Hare Stadium in Auburn.
The company has also worked on lighting in numerous professional stadiums, as well lighting the Washington Monument, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and Mount Rushmore.
Todd presented the council options as to what his company could do at the 40-year-old sports complex. Several of the lights are in need of immediate attention after recent storm damage.
“I’ve been working with the mayor (Bill Baker) and (city recreation director) Jeff (Formby), (city electrical manager) Casey Ponder and some other people throughout the community for the past couple of years trying to develop some good solutions for the sports complex,” Todd said.
“The two different options we give is, one, having a control system involved, which is the $325,000. If we decide to go LCC (layout command control) only, which is purely a manual operation by somebody like Jeff (Formby) or a facilities director, that would put you at $300K.”
With the control system option, Todd said his company would provide everything except for the facility wiring and the labor to install it.
“The control system itself allows you to be able to assign profiles, set up schedules or vice versa. You can access this just through apps on a phone. We provide a MUSCO app that we assign an account administrator to. You can assign up to 25 additional user profiles outside of that to monitor usage as well as activity to make sure the system is not being abused by any one person or coach. You can look at energy usage on an annual basis as well. All that information is available to account administrator,” Todd said.
Todd also presented the council with several financial solutions, including grant information in which the city could apply for to help pay for the project.
District 3 representative Jubal Feazell said he’d like to talk more with Ponder to see if there was any other alternative instead of an “all-or-nothing” expense that would put the city in debt. District 2 representative Richard Williams replied: “I think at this point we don’t have a choice but to repair some of what we have.”
District 4 representative Caleb Pope asked Todd if what he presented included the most economical version to illuminate the complex fields.
“This is the most efficient as well as the most cost effective. Anything above that would be a higher lighting level as well as a higher demand, which would obviously add cost,” Todd said. “We work off uniformity and light levels. It’s the most efficient, most practical lighting design that we can offer.”
Formby said he needed a decision from the council about the damaged lights soon, with baseball season starting in six weeks. He also said a decision concerning the overall shape of the complex lighting couldn’t be put on hold much longer.
“I know it’s expensive, but the complex is 40 years old,” he said. “It’s the same wiring, the same lighting, the same poles. It doesn’t get discussed a lot, but those wood poles are rotten.
“This light project has been kicked around I know for eight years. I’ve brought it to councils eight different times about lights trying to get them replaced, but we’re getting to the point where it’s not going to become a luxury to have the improvement out there. It’s a necessity. We’re to that point. An upgrade has to be done. Something has to be done to the light fixtures and the poles at the complex.”
Baker thanked Todd for his presentation and said the council needed to “go back and dissect what you said and see what we need to do.”
“We definitely know some decisions have to be made out there at that park,” Baker said. “I think it’s just a matter of putting our heads together and deciding what we need to do and what would be most feasible.”