La Crescent

Comprehensive lighting upgrades a noticeable sign of city's values

They're saving money on energy costs, too

Community members in La Crescent definitely noticed better and brighter lighting after the city upgraded to LEDs on their bridge, city welcome sign, and several city facilities.

Angie Boettcher with the City of La Crescent filled us in with the details.

Tell us a little bit about your project

Angie Boettcher: Hope you don't mind a list! The whole project included the following upgrades to LED:

  • 6 bridge lights (bulb replacement)
  • 1 city welcome sign light (bulb replacement)
  • 3 outdoor wall packs (fixture replacement)
  • 1 outdoor pole light (fixture replacement)
  • 12 high bay lights in our maintenance shop (fixture replacement)
  • 26 4-foot linear tubes in our maintenance shop (lamp replacement)
  • 1 street light on Main and Walnut (fixture replacement)

How did you talk to the community about your plans?

Angie Boettcher: Social media was the city's main platform for introducing the lighting project to our community. The project was also presented at the City Council, Planning Commission, and Chamber of Commerce meetings, which got it in front of around 60 people. The city's Green Team are also great at sharing what the city is doing to be more eco-friendly.

Has the new lighting been an improvement so far?

Angie Boettcher: The difference it's made has been both immediate and long-term. Right away one can see how bright the lights are without being overpowering or glaring. In the long-term, the long lifespan and energy efficiency of the new LED lights is going to have a positive impact to reduce municipal energy costs and save on resources. We have had at least a dozen people comment on the improvement of the sign and bridge lighting.

The community's response has been very positive. There has been a definite notice of the switch to LED lighting, especially on our bridge and city sign. The feedback encourages the city to continue making such improvements.

Angie Boettcher, City of La Crescent

Why did this project matter for La Crescent?

Angie Boettcher: There are three top reasons why this project was a big deal for the city.

  1. Residents are literally able to see that the city is committed to making the community more eco-friendly.
  2. It has enabled us to take another step along our goal of "going green".
  3. The lighting improvements helped us reach one of our benchmarks for the B3 Benchmarking program.

Any tips for other cities looking to make similar improvements?

Angie Boettcher: Sure! Here's what we learned.

  1. Have a team of people designated for the project to come up with a plan and a time frame.
  2. Find ways to inform the community of the project and be prepared to answer any questions.
  3. Utilize businesses within your community to do the work, if possible.

What's next for energy efficiency in La Crescent?

Angie Boettcher: The community's positive feedback encourages the city to continue making such improvements. Our plans are to replace our current low-level decorative street lighting in our business district with LEDs. We also plan to do more education with residents and businesses, hoping that they will hear about the impact energy efficiency work is having for the city and be inspired to make changes to reduce their own energy bills.

  • Technology: Lighting upgrades
  • Southeast CERT Seed Grant: $1,500
  • Total Project Cost: $3,618.28 
  • Other Funds: City’s Capital Improvement Funds
  • Project Team: Terry Erickson (City of La Crescent Economic Development), Jason Ludwigson (City of La Crescent Sustainability Coordinator), Tyler Benish (City of La Crescent Assistant Utility Maintenance Supervisor), Eileen Krenz (La Crescent Chamber of Commerce), Angie Boettcher (City of La Crescent Bookkeeper)
  • People Involved and Reached: 70
  • Annual Energy Savings: 20,180 kWh

Without the CERTs Seed Grant we would not have been able to move ahead with the project as quickly as we did because of lack of funding. All of the team members that helped with the CERTs grant found it to be a smooth and efficient process!

Angie Boettcher, City of La Crescent

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