Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brisbane: A Starry, Well-Lighted Place

It's not just during the Holidays that the stars shine in Brisbane. Last night, one shone especially brightly. That was retiring Brisbane Police Chief, Tom Hitchcock. Many folks from all over the County came to Brisbane to wish Tom a joyous and happy retirement, including Colma Police Chief Bob Lotti (congratulating Tom below) and Capt. Mark Hanlon, from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

After many words of praise from his colleagues, including Brisbane City Manager Clay Holstine, and Tom's acceptance of plaques from Senator Leland Yee's office and Assemblymember Jerry Hill's office, as well as from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and SMC Sheriff's Office, Tom approached the podium to address his City Council (bringing his winning personality and sense of humor with him).

Each of the Councilmembers along with Mayor Conway recounted their fondness of working with Tom, how he has built the Police Department into the community-oriented agency it is today, and how he exemplified true care for the Brisbane community as the City's Police Chief.

This may be the end of Tom's tenure as Police Chief, but his leadership and management style will still be seen in Brisbane. Not only will Tom be brought back for assistance on special projects, but he has prepared Commander Lisa Macias to be able to step into the role of Police Chief. She starts in her new position on July 5, 2010. The City congratulates Tom on his 39 years dedicated to public safety, 22 of them having been with the City of Brisbane!

In addition to Brisbane's stars shining especially brightly, its street lights will soon be, too. Starting next Tuesday, July 6th, the streets of Brisbane will be on their way to becoming better illuminated, thanks to the retrofit of approximately 400 “cobra head” street lights in Brisbane from High-pressure sodium vapor (HPSV) to LED.

Funding for the project has been secured through a 1% loan offered through the California Energy Commission, which the City will be paying back through energy savings. The annual energy and maintenance savings generated by moving from HPSVs to LEDs amounts to approximately $14,000 and $11,000, respectively. $14,000 will be used annually to pay off the loan amount, with $11,000 in savings going towards the City’s general fund. The 1% loan will be supplemented with a $25,000 Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) and nearly $29,000 in PG&E rebates. The loan will be completely paid off in 15 years.

The retrofit will include nearly all of the streetlights in Brisbane, as well as a portion of those located in the Sierra Point Shared Use Parking Lot. The decorative lights on Visitacion and those in the Northeast Ridge will not be replaced at this time. Retrofitting Brisbane street lights helps reduce the community’s ecological footprint, with street lights representing over a third of the City’s energy consumption. This is a prime example of a win-win-win change. Not only do we reduce our energy consumption and save our community money, but we also provide increased lighting quality to our community.

For more information on the LED Street Light Project, please click here to be taken to the project's Information Sheet.

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