Historic Harrisville

P.O. Box 79
Harrisville, NH 03450


Office Hours
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM


April 21, 2018
10:00 a.m.



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Street Light Update for Town Meeting 


Street lighting in Harrisville has been a hot topic since the last town meeting, when the town voted to approve $20,000 for the installation of LED street lights.  It will be a topic for discussion again at this year’s town meeting on Tuesday, March 13th
The following petitioned warrant article will be on the agenda for discussion:
Street Lights: To see if the town will vote to rescind 2017 Article 03: Street Lights; and to see if the town will vote to retain the existing “radial wave” street light fixtures in at least the National Historic Landmark District, as recommended by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. Furthermore, the town, with the assistance of historic preservationists, will petition Eversource for its support in maintaining the existing street lights. A committee of stakeholders and community members will be formed to establish the next steps, which will include considering ways to save energy and reduce costs. The committee will provide an interim progress report to the community by September 30, 2018, and a recommendation by Town Meeting of March 2019.
If this warrant passes, last year’s warrant article will be rescinded, along with its $20,000 budget. Therefore, street light repair and/or replacement would not occur until at least 2019. Instead, a committee would spend the year exploring our options, working to determine if saving the historic “radial wave” style incandescent lights is possible with the town’s support. We have recently learned that repair and preservation of the lights is technically feasible.  Doing so would require the cooperation of Eversource, who would need to make exceptions to their current requirements and programs for us. Eversource will only consider doing so with the support of the town, at the request of the Select Board.

If the lights are retained, the initial capital expenditure would potentially be significantly lower, but future energy consumption and operating costs would be higher.  Repair of the existing lights could be phased as needed. If at the conclusion of this process, the town decides to retain the existing lights, this option would preserve the historic fabric and ambiance of the National Historic Landmark, but not address the Select Board’s concerns related to safety, and reducing future operating costs.
If the warrant does not pass, the town will install Pemco LED Jamestown radial wave fixtures throughout the town, per an agreement with HHI. The new Pemco lights are authentic reproduction fixtures that will preserve the continuity and daytime look of the town’s historic street lighting system. The LED lights will provide more light on the roadways (for safety) and reduce energy consumption and operating costs. HHI will get the historic light fixtures as they are removed for replacement, so that they may be reused on private property in town. 
The cost of the Pemco radial wave fixtures is significantly more than the lights that the Select Board planned to install.  In order to achieve this outcome, HHI has committed to financing the difference between the cost of the preferred replacements and the budgeted $20,000. HHI will work with the town to raise these funds by applying for available grants and soliciting financial support from residents, local businesses, and visitors to the town. 
HHI’s Evolving Position
This project has been difficult for HHI, and our position evolves as information becomes available.  HHI’s preference would be to preserve and repair the existing incandescent street lights, with the long-term goal of finding energy efficient and visually pleasing bulbs for the historic lights. However, HHI recognizes that preserving the existing lights is not achievable without the support of the town and Select Board. The Select Board does not see saving the existing lights as a viable option because it does not address their concerns regarding public safety, operating costs, and maintenance. If preserving the existing lights is not an option, HHI would prefer to have the town replace the existing lights with new LED radial wave style lights that look like the historic light fixtures.  HHI has entered into an agreement with the Select Board to that effect. The agreement will take effect if the warrant does not pass.  
We encourage you to attend town meeting on Tuesday, March 13th to learn more about Harrisville’s street lights and vote for the option you prefer.