Street lights and the upcoming federal Census were topics at Tuesday’s Harker Heights City Council meeting.

Carl Green, area manager of operations for Oncor Electric Delivery, made a presentation to the City Council, reporting that effective April 1, Oncor would be offering several street lighting options to cities, including high-pressure sodium lights and light emitting diode (LED) lights as possibilities.

Green explained that amber street lighting is going away, in addition to mercury vapor lights, which are being phased out due to the Environmental Protection Act of 2005.

Metal halide will no longer be available because LED fixtures now offer white light. High-pressure sodium is available for new installs and maintenance.

Lighting designs available from Oncor include cobra head, rectangular, post top and historical.

Green reported that there are currently 14,414 streetlights in Harker Heights.

City Manager David Mitchell told the council, “What we brought to you today is a street light replacement agreement with Oncor that we will bring back to you for further consideration and a final decision.

In other business, Joseph Molis, director of planning and development, discussed the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.

“It is quickly approaching and due to fast growth and diminishing funds, the federal government will require local municipalities to complete it.”

“The last census was taken before I came to work for the city and have heard some horror stories,” Molis said. “I’m trying to avoid that kind of experience again by getting a jump on the process. I’ve already provided updated boundary information as we annex and will continue to do so, as needed.”

Accurate Census data is critical to Harker Heights, as it is used to determine grant funding, infrastructure budgeting and funding for assistance programs for citizens and businesses.

The 2020 U.S. Census will more heavily rely on electronic submission of data from citizens and the city to facilitate a more efficient collection of data.

Molis said, “The planning staff attended a conference in October 2017 to receive detailed information on the City’s participation in the program. The Census Bureau delivered their materials on March 13, 2018. The staff has approximately 120 days to review and provide necessary address updates to the Census Bureau.”

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