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Massive project will replace 61,000 street lights throughout Cleveland, but where should they go?

Posted at 11:13 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 08:47:48-04

Cleveland's "Safe Smart CLE Initiative" is a massive project that will call for the replacement of 61,000 street lights throughout the city, but some believe more input and thought is needed. 

City leaders said the $25 million dollar project will also include the installation of up to 1,000 video cameras at an additional cost of $6 to $7 million dollars.

Cleveland Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown told News 5 the project could get started as early as this fall, with tests on video systems continuing this summer.

Brown believes the LED project will improve public safety, reduce electric costs 35 to 40%, make maintenance response much more efficient and integrate computer controlled lighting and video systems.

"It's a game-changer for us," said Brown. "Probably one of the first city's in the country to really integrate both of them for an outcome."  

But Henry Senyak, who's worked with Cleveland City Council, to report more than 5,000 broken street lights to Cleveland Public Power, is hoping the city is also considering a comprehensive maintenance plan.

Senyak is wondering if the city will hold public hearings to get critical input from residents on the huge plan.

"They need to have a repair plan, they need to have enough repair stock," said Senyak.

"Are they going to have the correct type of replacement parts and think ahead, so they have enough in stock to repair these."

Cleveland Councilman Kerry McCormack told News 5 he hopes the city administration considers a wide variety of other upgrades in crafting the "smart system."

"We got to make sure we're leveraging this opportunity with LED lights, to get this right," said McCormack. "Things like wi-fi access to different parts of the city that don't have it.  They can do things like traffic control, smart parking, and air quality monitoring."

So far the city said it will not hold public hearings. Residents should give their input by attending police community meetings, or by contacting the mayor's action line.

Still, Senyak believes more vehicles for public input are needed.

"All this needs to be discussed and vetted," said Senyak. "I hope they do the right thing this time and make sure that they are doing something to protect all the citizens of the City of Cleveland."