A step toward fixing an ongoing lighting problem in downtown Waynesboro was taken Wednesday night.
Council agreed to use funds from the $23,442.98 accumulated in a PLGIT (Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust) account from street lighting tax toward a street lighting study.
According to Waynesboro Borough Manager Jason Stains, an initial study would cost $9,000, but further engineering would run the cost to around $20,000.
"Lighting has been an issue for years in our community," said Waynesboro Borough Manager Jason Stains.
"We've had a rash of pedestrian accidents (13 in 2014 alone). How can we put a dollar figure on a human life? We need to fix this in order to protect the pedestrians and motorists in our community."
Stains says that the street light study would provide a comprehensive look at topography, buildings, alleys, walkways and intersections throughout downtown as well as evaluating areas to ensure that the appropriate lighting is available to both pedestrians and motorists in downtown.
Stains said that one suggestion aimed at borough officials during a recent downtown revitalization meeting was for the borough to replace every bulb in the town.
"I think that is a waste of resources and manpower," Stains explained. "No one in this community has come forward that is a lighting engineer or qualified to tell us how to handle lighting in this community."
Another suggestion was for Waynesboro to take information from another community's light study and apply it in order to remedy the issue.
"We are not a cookie-cutter community. We would just end up wasting more money if we based a solution on another community's study," Stains said. ""We are trying to be as fiscally responsible as possible while protecting our community."
Last year, a total of six LED lights were installed downtown, three at the intersection of Walnut and Main streets, and another three at the intersection of Franklin and Main streets.
Electric Power Savers supplied the lights at no cost to the borough during an open-ended test period.
LED lights were placed inside the current decorative light globes and retro-fitted.
Councilwoman Niccole Rolls, who heads the borough's street committee, said that she didn't personally didn't see a major difference during the test period compared to other municipalities that moved to LED lighting solutions.
The borough expects a report by mid-July.
Council approves offers to three officers
Council approved the offers of conditional employment to three police officer candidates Wednesday night.
Currently, Waynesboro's police department has 15 active officers, which includes police chief Jim Sourbier IV. The police department is allotted 19 officers.
"This will add stability to the schedule and more consistency to the service we provide to the community," said Sourbier, who will be awaiting the offers to come back from the candidates over the next few days.
In December, council approved the hiring of Joshua Elkins and Cody Davis, who are expected to begin pre-academy training in May.
"We have been understaffed for several years from retirees. This will help to strengthen our police force," said Council President C. Harold Mumma.
Contact Dustin Haluska at email@example.com, 717-762-2151 or on Twitter: @dhaluska