06/01/05 — Goldsboro acquires lights from street mall in Raleigh

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Goldsboro acquires lights from street mall in Raleigh

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 1, 2005 1:51 PM

Goldsboro might never have Raleigh's nightlife, but thanks to a bargain-hunting contractor, the city now has some of the capitol's nightlights.

The city purchased about 50 light fixtures that once adorned Fayetteville Street Mall. Raleigh is converting the pedestrian mall back into a street, which made the fixtures unnecessary.

Contractor Kerry Thompson visited the site in May to look for salvageable materials when he saw workers piling the light fixtures to the side. He was told Progress Energy planned to sell them as surplus equipment for $80 apiece.

The next day, his wife, Julie Thompson of the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation, called the energy company and arranged to buy about 50 fixtures. That includes nearly 40 complete light kits, plus several more that can be cannibalized for parts.

The whole purchase cost a fraction of what the city paid for one of its downtown fixtures, around $6,500.

"If they're going to save us that much money, I'm in love with them," said Jimmy Hales, one of the General Services employees who picked up the fixtures in Raleigh last week.

The "new" lights don't exactly match the city's downtown lighting. The current equipment is made of cast iron and has two lamps atop one pole. These are cast aluminum with single lamps. The lighter weight will make them easier to install.

The recycled fixtures also have more efficient lighting, which will produce more light with less energy, Mrs. Thompson said.

Over the next few months, city employees will install the fixtures in several locations, primarily at Pedestrian Plaza, in front of the police-fire complex on South Center Street; a city parking lot on Chestnut Street; the John Street parking lot, which is to be expanded; and an alley between the John Street Parking Lot and Walnut Street.