LED street lighting savings are substantial in East New Market

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Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
The mural on East New Market’s Municipal Building is eye-catching and beautifully suited to the site. Artist Michael Rosato captured the unique qualities of this historic town and it is worth parking a car to walk by and take a close-up look at the painting.

EAST NEW MARKET — At the Jan. 12 East New Market commission meeting Vice Mayor David Tolley explained that the commission “has been talking about being energy conservationists. So, the town has had all the street lights turned over to LED lighting.” He noted that the average town electric bill is about $1,500 monthly but the invoice for Nov/Dec was down to $856. “That’s quite a substantial savings,” he said. “This is the way we want to go eventually – go more green and try to be very conservative.” Mayor Caroline Cline noted the 45 percent savings were “astounding.”

Using the Energy Efficiency Program offered by Delmarva Power Co., all 154 street lights and those in the Municipal Building as well were replaced with LED lights. East New Market was eligible for the energy program in 2015 and Mayor Cline remarked, “Some things sound as if they’re free until the end of the first month comes. This is for real.”

The meeting revealed how well these commissioners work together. When a job needs to be done either someone steps up or they work together to solve problems that would be difficult for one person. The town has sponsored a community dinner for many years. This year it is slated for Feb. 21, 4 pm, at the East New Market Fire Company. When Mayor Caroline Cline announced the details of this year’s event she asked if someone would take charge and chair it. “Who would like to step up to the plate and chair or co-chair this?” She was met at first with silence.

When Commissioner Mary Dennard-Turner asked what the job would entail, Ms. Cline responded that some things have been done already. The date and place are secured. She said someone is needed to set up food, beverages, and tables for the event, round up volunteers, contract for entertainment, and ensure that the prizes for various categories are purchased. At that point Commissioner Dennard-Turner offered to work with someone else and Vice Mayor Tolley offered to be the chairman.
Commissioner John Holliday immediately offered to help in any way he can and Mayor Cline took responsibility for purchasing prizes. Within 10 minutes the issue was settled.

In her update on the Friendship Park walking trail, Mayor Cline said the individual who was awarded the contract for trail construction expects to begin work shortly. The mayor also noted that “Renovation of the train station is moving slowly but we do have the architectural/preservation historian and it is now in his ballpark.”

The Dorchester County Tourism Department’s Chesapeake Byways project uses murals in selected locations as historical snapshots of a local area. Travelers along the byway can see the artwork and feel the unique qualities of Chesapeake Country. The murals include themes of agriculture, local/national history, natural history, and the Chesapeake Bay. A grant from the National Scenic Byway program helps defray costs.

Last year East New Market was chosen as a mural site. Artist Michael Rosato agreed that the municipal building was the appropriate venue to feature the town’s rich history and the mural was completed at the end of December. The eye-catching and dramatic artwork is perfect for the location and encapsulates the rich history of this 17th century town.
The next commission meeting is slated at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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