Tuesday, 01 October 2019 19:38

Duke Energy begins LED installation at Hamlet City Lake

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Crews from Duke Energy begin the process of converting the current lighting around Hamlet City Lake to LED lighting on Tuesday. Crews from Duke Energy begin the process of converting the current lighting around Hamlet City Lake to LED lighting on Tuesday. City of Hamlet

HAMLET — City Lake will soon be a bit brighter.

Crews from Duke Energy began installing new LED lighting around the lake Tuesday afternoon, according to City Manager Jonathan Blanton.

Blanton said he signed an agreement with the power company on Aug. 21 to replace and convert all 31 current light poles and openings from standard lighting to LED lighting.

He added that the fiberglass poles will be 16 feet high and provide lighting extending from the caboose through the current walking trail.

 

According to Blanton, the city’s monthly power bill for the area will be reduced from $463.66 to $442.89 — a reduction of about 4.5%. The total one-time cost for replacement was $750.

“It’s really going to light up the area,” Blanton said.

The lights are another phase in the ongoing improvements to City Lake, which began in late July with the removal of overgrowth and dead and rotting trees.

Blanton said one of the biggest arguments for cleaning up around the lake was public safety.

Since cleanup began, a man’s body was found at the lake and Blanton reported a man with an open container in August who wound up being an attempted-murder suspect in Scotland County.

Blanton said Tuesday that more clear-cutting is needed between the former VFW Post and American Legion Hall and there are plans to install a camera system for that area.

Gates and park hours will be discussed at next week’s City Council meeting, he added.

Other changes have been more cosmetic.

In mid-August, the city worked out a donation-purchase deal with Vulcan Materials for 800 tons of rip-rap stone to line the lake “in order to promote a fresh, clean, and neat looking shoreline.”

Last month, Scotland County artist Stuart Carmichael completed the mural near the Hamlet Senior Center, with a last-minute addition featuring the likenesses of late City Council member Joe Robinson and his grandchildren.

Blanton said there are also plans to plant centipede grass in the area, but the sprinkler system has to be repaired first.

At the September meeting, Blanton outlined a master plan for the park which also includes:

  • improving the integrity of the existing dam, at the request of the state;
  • the addition of a recreational “splash pad” located between the senior center and the old VFW; 
  • an extension of the existing walking trail; 
  • more picnic areas;
  • boardwalk extensions; and 
  • bathrooms.

Blanton has previously told the RO that his  goal is “to make the City Lake one of the most beautiful places in Richmond County.”