MAYOR: New LED lights are step in right direction

Published 10:00 pm Monday, July 10, 2017

Each day, I go to work in City Hall and do my best to make Selma better than it was the day before.

Often, these changes are slow-moving and happen exclusively behind the scenes, so it’s easy to understand why so many become frustrated with public service.

As I’ve said many times before, Selma’s problems didn’t develop overnight, so we won’t be able to fix them overnight.

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And while we’re working hard to modernize our city’s budget and develop 21st-century solutions to address our city’s problems, some solutions are literally as simple as turning on the lights.

These new LED lights being installed across Selma help deter criminal activity and make the city more appealing to potential new businesses and visitors who come to enjoy our rich history.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with Alabama Power to develop a comprehensive lighting plan for the city –– their engineers are testing lights in all corners of our city to make sure we can light up our streets and sidewalks at the lowest possible cost to our citizens.

Many of the impacts are already visible in downtown Selma along Broad Street and other major streets throughout the city –– the new LED lights are cheaper to run, more energy efficient, and cast more light than the traditional bulbs.

Now, the Alabama Power engineers are working in our neighborhoods to make these new lights a reality for every corner of our city.

Our goal is to guarantee that everyone feels safe walking down the street, checking their mail or standing on the sidewalk having a friendly conversation with a neighbor.

Because each ward is different, the lights for each area may look a little different –– that’s because the Alabama Power engineers are making sure each neighborhood’s lights are optimized for that specific neighborhood.

As these lights go in along the streets and sidewalk, we want to encourage our citizens to take the initiative to install lights that shine on their own homes –– flood lights or security lights are generally inexpensive to install and maintain, and they will help tremendously in our efforts to secure our neighborhoods and reduce crime.

We won’t be able to fix our problems overnight, and none of us can do this alone.

But Selma has always stood as a testament to the power of people committed to building change together.

Together, we can continue to move Selma boldly into the 21st century and build a Selma we can all be proud to call home.

Darrio Melton is mayor of Selma. He can be reached at