The lighting on Prince Field got brighter and more energy-efficient with the addition of new lights and a computerized control system. The best part was that the upgrade was paid for by state and federal grants.
Miami Springs grant writer Carol Foster wrote the $130,000 grant that will cut annual energy costs by 20 percent and, including maintenance costs, save the city about $70,000 over ten years.
At last Thursday’s re-lighting ceremony, City Manager Ron Gorland said, “It was a team effort for sure, but thanks to Carol Foster’s grant-writing skills we got the funding we’ve been trying to get for seven years.”
Rec Director Omar Luna said the lighting system at Prince Field has long been antiquated.
“This will provide more coverage and make playing safer,” said Luna. “It brings us up to prescribed standards. The field is used Monday through Thursday and sometimes on Fridays, almost year-round.”
Gorland said that the city is also going to receive $120,000 for upgrading lighting on the two baseball diamonds at Charles B. Stafford Park on East Drive.
“That will pay for part of what we want at Stafford,” said Gorland.
Foster said, “I’ve been writing grants for this for six years but money was always tight and some of the programs that pay for this were not funded by the legislature over the years. We just heard that we got it at the end of June.”
The money grant paid for fixtures and the computerized control system. Fortunately, the poles were adequate.
Also attending the official re-lighting ceremony were Ivonne Perez-Suarez, consumer advocate for Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Adam H. Putnam, and Michael Mitchell, grant manager, Office of Energy for the Florida Department of Agriculture.
“This is for the community as a whole,” said Mayor Zavier Garcia. “It will make Prince Field safer and save us money.”
Gorland, said, “It’s all about energy efficiency.”