Brighter days ahead at historic Clinton Arena

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CLINTON — Out with the old and in with the new is what’s happening at the historic Clinton Arena this spring bringing a brighter future to Hockeyville.

Earlier this month workers from Potentia Management, a commercial lighting company, began taking down the old fluorescent overhead lights throughout the building and replacing them with new, more modern, LED (light emitting diode) overhead lights.

A project long hoped for by Parks and Recreation Superintendent Mike Orsino.

“I’ve been asking for these lights since 2014,” Orsino said. “Problem was they just were not ready, not developed for what we needed yet.”

According to Potentia Management, light fixture performance has come a long way in the past 10 years. Commercial LED lighting has revolutionized energy savings while preserving or even improving light levels.

The Kirkland Town Board approved the motion to have the lights installed at the Clinton Arena last October.

This past March, the Village of Clinton Board adopted a resolution to replace the current village street light system with LED lights. This was done in an attempt to initiate an ERP, or Energy Reduction Plan, the first step in becoming a ‘Green Community.’ And while these lights are not a part of that initiative, Orsino said it aligns all the ships in the same direction.

“We didn’t do it because they were doing it,” Orsino said. “We realized we were going to save money for the taxpayers and brighten up the arena, although there certainly isn’t anything wrong going green, I support a green footprint, I will say that.”

Orsino said that in three days a worker came in and retrofitted nearly 175 existing light fixtures, with approximately 70 fixtures to go. Retrofitting, in this case, means switching out the fluorescent ballasts for LED ignitors and replacing the old fluorescent bulbs with new LED bulbs.

“They came in and changed every locker room light, every hall light and lobby lights,” Orsino said. “Also they changed the men’s and ladies room lights upstairs.”

The remaining units that need retrofitting are positioned over the arena ice, and the ice was scheduled to come out this week. Once the ice has been removed Orsino said the work can resume, probably near the end of the week.

Potentia Management said the job should be fully complete by next month.

“Once ice is melted we will finish the installation of the lights over the rink and have it all done by the end of May,” said Becky Vennero, director of public relations Potentia Management Group, LLC.

Vennero also confirmed the advantages for the arena after the project is complete.

“With the upgrade of the Clinton Arena, the Town of Kirkland will reduce greenhouse gases annually by 120,310 pounds, Vennero said in an email.

“Their estimated annual savings is 109,372.44 (kWh) and their estimated annual savings is $12,160. Based on their savings, their return on investment will be 16 months.”

According to the Town of Kirkland and National Grid, the base project cost is $36,465. National Grid incentives pays $21,364.84 of that cost, leaving a sum of $15,100.16 paid by the town.

Supervisor Robert J. Meelan said he believes it will be economically viable for the town.

“Bottom line it’s going to save money,” Meelan said. “It’s an energy saving thing, we are trying to go as green as possible with everything we got.”

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