Center Ossipee grant

Fire Commissioners' Chair Joe Deighan (right), standing with Center Ossipee Fire Chief Dana Cullen Jr., holds a new LED streetlight like the ones recently installed in Center Ossipee. (DAYMOND STEER PHOTO)

OSSIPEE — Center Ossipee just got a bit brighter thanks to 94 new streetlights purchased with partial funding from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant.

Not only that, but firefighters will soon be able to hear each other better due to a separate grant from FEMA.

About $10,000 for the streetlight replacement project came from the USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program.

The USDA described various grant awards to towns and cities all over the country in a press release it recently sent out to news organizations.

Center Ossipee was the only local program it mentioned.

Of the streetlight replacement, USDA said: “The project will reduce energy consumption by 31,449 kilowatts annually at an operating cost savings of $8,594, providing relief for an already tight fire district budget.

“The project’s return of investment will be no greater than three years and reduce carbon emissions over the next 10 years by 188.7 tons, consistent with USDA Rural Development’s energy security focus area,” it said.

“The downtown area, residential neighborhoods and commercial districts will continue to be well-lit, and in some cases better lit, for the improved safety and health of town residents.”

Fire Commissioners’ Chair Joe Deighan and Center Ossipee Fire Chief Dana Cullen Jr. said the new LED streetlights were installed by Affinity Lighting of Dover in about two days at the end of October.

“The new lights are brighter,” said Deighan. “We haven’t seen the savings yet. But we’ve gone from a 70-watt fixture to an 18-watt fixture. So that leads to close to a two-thirds savings.”

Deighan said the total project cost was about $27,781 with $10,000 from USDA, $9,400 from Eversource and $8,381 from taxation.

The town’s economic council  originally tried to put the grant together for the town thinking the town had control over the street lights in Center Ossipee, but it actually the Center Ossipee Fire Precinct, which is like a town within the town of Ossipee Deighan said adding thee precinct retooled the grant so the precinct could receive it.

The street lights that have been replaced are along main roads in Center Ossipee, such as Mountonville Road, Chickville Road and Dore Street.

“Anywhere you see a streetlight in Center Ossipee — that’s been replaced,” said Deighan.

Cullen explained they also received an Assistance to Fire Fighters grant from FEMA for new radios of $191,000. That grant includes funding for eight radios that go in vehicles, 30 for portable radios and for a “base station” that lets the firefighters communicate with Carroll County Dispatch.

“We’re using portables now that were basically from a grant from 2001,” said Cullen adding the radios were provided by a grant after the attacks of that year.

“So we’ve been running into a lot of issues with not being able to find parts when they break that type of thing. So hopefully, that’s going to take care of that most of that, because they’re gonna all be brand-new.”

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