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City of Two Harbors roundup: City to start pushing LED bulbs

The next time the light in your home or business goes out, the Two Harbors Public Works department hopes you will reach for an energy-efficient LED light instead of a traditional bulb. It could be the last time you replace it for the next 15 years.

"LED lighting is rapidly becoming the lighting of choice right now," said Two Harbors Electrical Superintendent Steve Blettner at Tuesday's Two Harbors City Council meeting.

The LED, or light-emitting diode, lights use less energy and last longer.

"The cost is a little bit more expensive up front, but you are getting 15 to 20 years of life and they are running 60- to 80-percent less energy," Blettner said.

The city is applying for a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to market the use of LED lights for non-residential installation, like signs for businesses. Blettner hopes that with new information and programs, more people in Two Harbors will make the switch to LED lights.

"It will help us meet our 1.5 percent reduction goal of saving kilowatts," Blettner said.

Two Harbors is not alone in looking for energy-efficient lighting options.

"We would be one of three cities [with Aitkin and Delano in Minnesota] that would be using this program," Blettner said.

The major deterrent of LED lights is the initial cost of the bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs can typically cost $3, whereas a comparable LED bulb can cost $50 or more.

"It doesn't cure the fact that the economy is bad," Blettner said. "The businesses I have talked to understand that they could save some money, but they are not ready to invest the money they have put away in their stores simply because they may need it later to pay bills."

Water tower

After the completing inspections and an initial test last week, the new Two Harbors water tower began sending water across the city Tuesday.

The gray, iconic former water tower is scheduled for demolition in July.

New home for memorial

In 2000, the American Legion, the Lake County Historical Society and the VFW decided to find the Lake County Veteran's Memorial in the Memorial Forest a new home after years of disrepair.

Originally located on Legion Hill off Highway 3 near Silver Creek, the stone pillars and archway were dismantled and will be moved to the Sonju Trail at Lakeview Park near Burlington Bay.

The memorial serves to honor military veterans killed in action going back to the Civil War. As of 2012, 46 men from Lake County have lost their lives in war efforts.

The group hopes to have the memorial finished before the Community Block Party in August.