Tioga County Courthouse light bulbs to be replaced

COVINGTON – During their “on the road” meeting here Tuesday, Tioga County commissioners voted to replace all of the light bulbs in the courthouse with pricier LED light bulbs, but the motion to replace the light bulbs drew a question from a meeting attendee.

“You’re spending all that money on light bulbs. How much are they going to save you?” asked Eldon Nash, of Covington Township.

Following the approval of the purchase of 1,300 LED bulbs at $28 each for a total of $36,400, plus additional costs for recycling existing bulbs and ballasts, replacing 20 surface mount lights and retrofitting pole lights, the total cost came to $49,200, from Act 13 funds.

Chief Clerk Derek Williams said the main reason they are doing it is the state requires the county to recycle each light bulb and each ballast that goes out.

“We collect them in big containers and ship them out to Ohio, because there is no place in Pennsylvania that recycles them,” he said.

According to Williams, the county is spending $13,529 for 1,700 bulbs per year just on the recycling of the bulbs and ballasts.

“The LED bulbs themselves are brighter, so we won’t need as many and they last at least 10 years instead of six months to a year, saving us $10,911 per year. We are figuring it should be about a 60 percent savings on our electric bill, with an estimated pay off between three to five years,” added. “And they could last up to 30 years depending on where they are and how much use they are getting.”

In other business commissioners:

Approved an annual fire pump inspection contract for the county prison with Davis-Ulmer for $600.

Approved the 2013 Small Communities Program agreement between the county and the county housing authority for a $236,290 Community and Economic Development grant.

Adopted a Local Economic Recovery Tax Abatement for Lawrence Township which they had previously tabled, but denied two other tax abatements, both businesses in Lawrence Township, one for Erb Rentals, and one for Heckman Water Resources, because they didn’t apply for the abatement at the time they applied for their building permits, as required by the ordinance.

Approved paying $4,775 from Act 13 funds to Duane Cizek for water quality testing and $6,750 for test boring by Keystone Consultants Inc., both at the site of the future 911 center.

Approved the use of the Green by the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health Oct. 16 for its 20th anniversary celebration.