An average of 395 youth participate in Somers co-ed softball leagues every summer. All games are evening games requiring long-distance lighting to meet the viewing needs of both players and spectators. About 40 years ago, in the mid 1970’s, six lighting poles with 47 light bulbs and fixtures were installed at the Somers ball park. 40 years of weather and old technology have taken their toll resulting in lights that are not reliable, and when all working, only illuminate 30% of the softball field. Bulbs are approximately $10 each and public works, who is responsible for maintenance, finds upkeep and replacement of parts costly and ineffective.
The plan is to replace the old bulbs with LED lights. Although 6 light poles will be reduced to 3 polls, field viewing will increase from the current 30% to 100%. The vendor, Musco Lighting, also includes a 25 year maintenance program (parts and labor) with the light purchase which eliminates public works labor time completely.
New lights are a big investment, but necessary, to maintain and grow our youth softball program. The cost estimate of the lights is $120,000. In April, 2016, a $60,000 grant request was submitted to the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. Matching funds will be required by the Village/Town of Somers.