Rockland votes to buy streetlights, convert to LEDs

By Stephen Betts | Dec 14, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts Mark Carter of RealTerm Energy showed Rockland City Councilors samples of LED streetlights at a June 3 meeting.

Rockland — The Rockland City Council voted unanimously Monday night to take two actions that will both save money and energy.

The Council approved an agreement Dec. 16 to purchase approximately 690 streetlights from Central Maine Power.

And then the Council voted to approve a contract with RealTerm Energy US, LP of Annapolis, Maryland, for the conversion of those public streetlights to light emitting diodes (LEDs).

City councilors were shown samples of the lights at their June 3 meeting.

The city will be able to control the lights' intensity individually or by groups via computer.

The cost to buy the lights from CMP is $188,172 and the cost of the contract with RealTerm is $350,036.

The city is projecting to save $92,000 annually with the lights and should be able to recoup its investment in six years and after that will continue with the savings.

Councilor Valli Geiger said the lights would be pointed down to preserve dark skies. And the lights be of a warm nature. She said the controls are important so the lights could be brighter in commercial neighborhood but not as bright in residential neighborhoods if residents want.

The lights have a 10-year warranty but an expected life of more than 20 years, according to the company.

The conversion is one of the steps recommended in the city's climate action plan developed by the Energy Advisory Committee.

Comments (19)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 20, 2019 10:22

Ms Geiger: The article states that the city will buy the lights from cmp. Did you NOT read that? Even Steve's comments state that. Nice try.


Posted by: Valli Genevieve Geiger | Dec 20, 2019 09:17

Mr. Hayward, Rockland does not own the old street lights, CMP does. They own them and will do whatever they usually do with them. They are incandescent bulbs which don't last long.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 20, 2019 08:13

What do we do with 690 street lights that are obsolete? This is a real brain child solution. Maybe give them away with each tax bill next year so that we can say we got something from this city for our investment. Just screw them to a tree and make things look good around your property for the new exterior property valuation and then the city can tax us on them. What a stupid lame brain effort to look good to the five "from away" leaders.


Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 16, 2019 20:04

Valerie, that web site does not go


Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 16, 2019 14:36

435 Main Street is a going business by one that appears to have plenty of financial standing and relative to a one time shaker and mover in Rockland. Good luck checking that one out for fairness and equality for all.


Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 16, 2019 14:32

Valerie: I did know all that, I had already researched it at one point when I ran away from the council. You see, so much is hidden from us that most people do NOT actually care or give a rat's behind as to what goes on. I have also researched every budget and always go to the emergency room for a retrofit in order to take the next breath. This is a pitiful plan, we will pay through the nose and it is of little interest of the five band members whether you or I or the other that do care will be happy with their decision. There is more to this than meets the eye(s) and ears. Also try to find out how many others have gotten tax breaks and how to apply, that will be a test of endurance for someone. The papers don't even dare to report that stuff, you can bet.


Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Dec 16, 2019 09:18

Well I guess all our questions will be answered tonight and of course the vote will be 5-0 to write a check out of YOUR checkbook to fund these new lights.  Well Steve how about this question:  So we can't buy the lights from Amazon we have to purchase from CMP and we already rent from them so why not get CMP to change the lights on their nickel ? I am sure the answer might be:  that it is NOT in CMPs benefit for us to use less electricity.  Well can can hash this over tonight.  I as.sume you will be there.  Alexa, turn out the lights.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Dec 16, 2019 03:59

Sorry, that link will not work.  Anyway, I only read half a page and found out that 435 Main Street is getting a tax break for 12 years if they fix up the buildings that the city asked them to.  WOW!!!!!!  How many other's are getting a tax break on Main Street?

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Dec 16, 2019 03:57

Oh my goodness, Dale, this will really get you in an uproar....

City of Rockland, Maine Annual Budget Fiscal Year 2020:*/ACFrOgAf17vgHBAFaxhrLZ9RFArmJFs7JallmYR1Xf2dxPaWxBse4XVwynz_pLFNh0q6HaKCjDBYGWCWdoxtjsIvr8Gk8_ka6FQ2t_QABXeYPnoP74Oq55rWWxjYO6Q=?print=true

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Dec 16, 2019 03:46


I believe that the City of Rockland "rents" the lights from CMP at a very high cost.  The City of Rockland pays for the electric also.  Please, anyone, correct me if I am wrong.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 15, 2019 20:28

I am not sure who can answer this one honestly or not: If CMP owns the current lights, who pays for the electricity and does CMP pay property taxes on the polls? Is there a way that can be computed to see if it is a win, lose, or draw for the taxpayers? The actual dollar figures for the costs both plus and minus would be interesting because I see not mention of this in any articles or comments.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 15, 2019 17:58

Easy Francis, you know Mr. Betts is an honorable newspaper reporter who makes at least a courageous attempt to report the facts, the truth and nothing but the truth so help us here in Rocklandiaville. The interesting added thought here is, if CMP owns the lights and he have to buy them and THEN install new lights would that make sense. Unless, I missed something, for which Mr. Betts will correctly adjust my thinking, I did not notice where the new lights would go up first, and they we buy or we buy the  old ones and then buy new ones. Is that clear to you? Valerie is it clear to you: do we buy cmp lights and then convert them over, in that case we need to adjust the savings for quite some time I would suspect. Someone get me out of this brain cramp as soon as possible before I get deep into a catatonic state where Mr. Demo might look good. NOT!

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Dec 15, 2019 12:01

PLEASE, forget it, PLEASE.

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Dec 15, 2019 09:51

Why confuse people with the facts, Mr Betts ?

Posted by: Stephen Betts | Dec 15, 2019 09:35

CMP owns the lights now. That is why the article states that the city will vote on buying them from CMP.


Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Dec 15, 2019 09:06

Does the City currently own the streetlights ?  There was talk about the city owning and not renting the lights.  If they are still renting the lights why not let CMP change them on their nickel ?  If, on the other hand, we recently purchased the lights then looks liike we got taken again and you're correct Valerie, "projected savings"  Like buying a $50,000 car to save 10 cents a gallon on gas.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 14, 2019 21:29

We must keep up with the neighbors


Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 14, 2019 19:26

ok Valerie: You know better than to question the motives of our illustrious council and management team to do nothing but what is best for their egos.


Posted by: Valerie Wass | Dec 14, 2019 14:21

Key Wording..."The city is projecting to save $92,000 annually with the lights."  SPEND SPEND SPEND.   EMPTY POCKETS AGAIN TAX PAYERS OF ROCKLAND.  NO SURPRISE'S HERE.



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