— The city could save thousands of dollars annually in reduced energy costs after the City Council unanimously agreed to authorize changing 261 fluorescent fixtures in City Hall to LED lighting.

Eli Konieczka, of Hands of Integrity Maintenance LLC, the company contracted to do a study of energy costs in City Hall, told the council on March 28 that the net cost to the city for the $16,900 in improvements will be only $7,903 because of a $9,047 utility incentive grant the city will receive.

Konieczka said the city will recoup its investment in less than a year from the energy savings and a greatly reduced cost of replacing fluorescent fixtures.

Konieczka said that the life span of the LED lights is many times greater than the fluorescent and incandescent bulbs now being used in City Hall. “The work will be done quickly and efficiently and once the project is complete, the city will began to see really significant savings in the cost of lighting this building,” he said.

For example, the expert explained, the annual cost of lighting in City Hall is about $15,000 a year. After the “retrofit,” that cost will drop to about $4,800, he said. Over a projected 15-year period, the city should save about $142,900, according to data supplied by Konieczka.

At the same meeting, the council unanimously approved the utilization of services provided by Christian Outreach Transitional Employment Services for summer grounds maintenance.

Mayor Gerard Landry told the council that the city is now down five employees who cut grass and maintain city-owned grounds. He said that workers provided by Christian Outreach will be paid about 40 cents an hour less than regular workers and that the city does not have to provide any benefits to the employees. He said that the employment service will cover the cost of workers’ compensation.

In other business, the council approved a long list of sealed bids for dirt, sand, gravel, limestone, ready-mix concrete, pipe and fire hydrants and fuel for the next six months. In each case, the council accepted the lowest bids for the materials. Bids for the various items were submitted by a number of different firms.

The council also agreed to authorize the city to enter into an agreement with Applied Concepts Inc. for two radar systems for use by the Denham Springs Police Department. The mayor explained that by leasing the equipment, the city will have access to the latest radar technology available. The equipment will be maintained by Applied Concepts and after two years, new equipment will be made available to the Police Department.

Cost of the lease will be about $249 a month.

The council also introduced and set for public hearing at its April 12 meeting requests from Papi’s Mexican Cuisine and La Carreta Restaurant for a noise variance for outdoor events planned for May 5. Papi’s is asking for the variations from noon until midnight and LaCarreta is seeking a variance from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. The council will take a final vote on the matter at the April 12 meeting.

The council also declared, by proclamation, that April be designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Denham Springs.