May 4, 2020

Multnomah County employees continuously work to find innovative solutions to complex issues, and serve our community each day with dedication, compassion and kindness. The hard work does not go unnoticed.

Multnomah County celebrates Public Service Recognition Week with the announcement of the winners of the Employee Recognition Awards. Here, Commissioner Lori Stegmann announces the winner of the Sustainability Award: Mid-County Lighting District. The District’s fixture replacement plan embraces new technologies and helps the environment. 

Street lighting is critical to the safety of road, sidewalk and bike lane users. After reaching out to residents, the Mid-County Lighting District, which is managed by the Department of Community Services, determined that poor street lighting was a high concern.

However, many districts struggle with the financial and environmental costs of maintaining street lights. Additionally, over time, dirt builds up and the light they produce becomes drastically reduced.

Over the last few years, the District has collaborated very closely with the communities of Maywood Park, Fairview and Troutdale and replaced all their street lights with ones that are brighter, easier to maintain and more energy efficient.

“Over the past 4 years, we’ve converted almost 2700 street lights and reduced our energy usage by more than 50 percent,” said Chet Hagen, Program Manager for Asset Management. “This summer we’ll be converting the lights on Halsey Street and the Historic Columbia River Highway in Fairview and Troutdale.” These will be the final LED conversions, and will help these communities realize their Main Streets on Halsey plan - a multi-jurisdictional vision to create a unified main street marked by pedestrian and bike-friendly features, public gathering spaces, new housing, and bustling shops and restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops.

“We are extremely happy with our collaboration and that we can provide modern, reliable and efficient street lighting for those areas,” said Hagen.

In addition, the District started tracking outage reports and maintenance completions in the cloud-based Cartegraph system, allowing for real-time updates as work is completed. District contact information is also now displayed prominently on all light fixtures so residents can easily report lighting issues.

“This kind of work very much aligns with Multnomah County’s mission and sustainability values,” said Commissioner Lori Stegmann. “It focuses on the long-term well being of our community; and it’s a great example of how we can embrace new technology that improves the environment, communication and transparency with the public, all while saving taxpayer money.”