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Davis Journal

City Council approves solar lights for Community Park

Nov 30, 2023 09:29AM ● By Linda Petersen

CENTERVILLE—After a pause to ensure they will withstand winds commonly experienced in Centerville, the city council has approved new solar lights for Community Park at 1350 North 400 West. 

On Oct. 17 Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Cox informed the council that the solar panels and poles they were looking at purchasing would withstand a 90 miles per hour wind load. But concerned with the winds Centerville sometimes sees, they sent him back to the manufacturer, Fonroche Lighting America, to see if they could find stronger poles and panels.

On Nov. 7 Cox reported that while the initial bid featured poles that met American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials standards for the area, the manufacturer was unaware that Centerville and Farmington have a higher wind rating of 130 mph. So Fonroche began to research stronger poles.

“What fails in high winds is the integrity of the pole and it has to do with the weight: how much weight is on the top of the pole, the light fixture itself, and with the weights that are on them and the angles that they put the panels,” Cox said. “So it's still the pole that's the first thing that's going to fail in a high wind, and so that's why they have to do the heavier grade poles.”

With that information Fonroche found poles that fulfill those requirements with just some minor extra shipping costs which increases the original bid of $203,100 to $205,900, he said.

“I think this is an exceptional deal,” Cox said.  “We went back to their engineers and their designers and talked with our city engineer and got all the specs. Then they were able to find a supplier that could get the heavier grade poles at a lesser cost than the poles that they had been making. So they were able to supply the poles and the installation at the same quote but just a higher cost of shipping because they weigh a lot more and because they're specialty poles.”

The manufacturer did not have the needed poles in stock so there will be a short delay while they are shipped in, but they should be installed in March as originally planned, Cox said.

This new awareness of Centerville’s wind rating has led the city’s engineering and streets departments to evaluate other city signs, City Manager Brant Hanson said.

“[They] went back and started looking at them and our street signs are actually at 100 m per hour rating so [Streets Supervisor] Mark Marchant is researching the cost to upgrade those. So that’s why we lost a lot of signs a couple years ago in our wind rating so we’ll be slowly improving our poles throughout.”

The original bid for the 13 single head solar lights and 35 single head direct bury lights at Community Park was $231,100 for the lights and $53,000 for installation by GSL Electric.