Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Rudolph Elder Park now lit by LED lights

Published:Saturday | February 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMJolyn Bryan
Jolyn Bryan photos From left: JPS Parish Manager Oswald Smiley; DSP Charmaine Shand; Member of Parliament, Dr. Fenton Ferguson; Custos Rotulorum of St Thomas, Marcia Bennett; Minister of Local Government, Noel Arscott and Mayor of Morant Bay, Ludlow Mathison, at a ceremony to mark the turning on of LED lights in the Rudolph Elder Park last week Wednesday.

The Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay, St Thomas, has now been illuminated by light-emitting diode (LED) lights, courtesy of an initiative by the St Thomas Parish Council to improve lighting in the park.

Speaking at a ceremony held last Wednesday, Secretary Manager Errol Green explained that the parish council had been alerted to the fact that lighting in the park was not adequate, posing a significant security threat. He went on to state that the parish council had chosen LED lights because of their energy efficiency and low maintenance cost.

Through collaboration with Jamaica Public Service and the St Thomas Parish Council, seven LED light bulbs were acquired at a cost of $250,000, with funds secured from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

Parish Manager Oswald Smiley congratulated the parish on passing a key milestone in energy diversification, explaining that the LED lights would cut energy usage rates by about 50 per cent, and also reduce theft of street lights through GPS tracking, which would identify where the stolen lights were taken.

Minister of Local Government Noel Arscott, speaking at the ceremony, also congratulated the St Thomas Parish Council on taking advantage of technological improvements for energy reduction.

implement a programme

"LED lights are a tremendous technological advancement, and I have been trying to implement a programme of LED lighting that will impact the budget and people of Jamaica. A computerised system of street lights will save the country US$12 million a year," he said.

At present, $2.5 billion goes to maintaining street lights annually. This is paid for from property taxes, which has seen a poor record of collection in many areas. LED lights, with their 10-year lifespan, as opposed to other street lights, which have a life span of four years, will reduce the cost of street-light maintenance.

DSP Charmaine Shand, acting commander of the St Thomas police, was especially thankful for the additional lighting in the park, pointing out that proper lighting was a deterrent to criminals. According to DSP Shand, several acts of rape and shootings have been committed in the Rudolph Elder Park under the cover of darkness. While thanking the minister and the parish council, DSP Shand is also calling for more lights to be placed along the shore near the park, highlighting that she and her team had discovered several children in compromising positions along the beach after dark.