2017-04-21 / Local News

How many engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

We don’t know but it’s going to cost $1,500 to find out how to do it
By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Staff Writer

It appears the Cherokee County administration building parking lot has a bright future.

After months of inaction, Cherokee Council Council gave the green light Monday to spend $1,500 to hire an electrical engineer to write the specs and review the bids to replace the halogen lights that illuminate the parking lot and flag pole with energy-saving LED fixtures.

Cherokee County Administrator Holland Belue has said that LED bulbs are much brighter and deliver light more evenly.

However, the first time the project was bid there was no one on staff to evaluate one bid that contained a different fixture, Belue said.

At a recent meeting, Belue requested council spend $1,500 to hire Carolina Engineering Solutions to review the specs. Belue said the hiring of an electrical engineering firm would guarantee the purchase of the correct fixtures. Carolina Lighting Solutions is also the firm the county hired for the Cherokee Ford softball complex lighting project.

After council took no action on his request, Belue said he would replace the burned out bulbs with halogen bulbs.

On Monday, councilman David Smith initiated the discussion by asking Belue for a progress report. Belue said no bulbs have been replaced.

Council Chairman Tim Spencer said the issue needs to be resolved since it’s created a security problem for county employees leaving the building at night.

Cherokee County Councilman Quay Little, though, strongly disagreed with hiring an engineer and suggested the county should either contact the building contractor or a local company familiar with lighting projects.

“It’s a waste and it’s extravagant (spending $1,500 to hire an engineer),” Little said.

Councilman Tracy McDaniel then made the motion to hire the engineer to spec and analyze the bids. Little cast the lone dissenting vote.

Belue said the county plans to use the E 9-1-1 tariff money for the lighting project since the LED lighting would improve the security at E 9-1-1, which is located near the rear of the building.

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