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Syracuse to use solar lighting in two city parks

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)

Solar lighting is coming to some parks in the City of Syracuse.

City Street Lighting Manager Ken Towsley said solar lighting is a lot easier on the budget than traditional lighting. The city will test it in two parks, one on the city’s Eastside and another on the Northside.

"The biggest thing with this solar lighting is the lack of major infrastructure work we have to do," Towsley said. "No trenching, no power, nothing to get National Grid involved. The fact these lights are about $4,500 a piece, we’ll be able to put more in the city this year."

Towsley said these are the same kinds of solar lights used in other cities, like Montreal, that have similar weather. He also notes they are used at Onondaga Lake Park, which has reported no issues with them.

"They’ve got them all over Montreal which is obviously similar weather to us," Towsley said. "The counties have no problems. There was some maintenance issues with them, they have upgraded them. Since those maintenance issues, they have not had a problem with them throughout the year. The battery is extensive as well.”

Towsley said using a solar strategy could mean an additional 20 lights in parks this year. Common councilors, who approved funding for the solar lighting, said it’s an issue, especially for homeowners who live near parks that are dark and can attract criminal activity.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.