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Holiday Lights at the Beach Program - WAVY-TV · PDF file05.07.2017 · Holiday...

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  • Holiday Lights at the Beach

    Program

    August 1, 2017Thomas Leahy, Deputy City Manager

  • Holiday Lights Program - Background

    Holiday Lights Program First Implemented in 1995

    Thanksgiving thru New Years

    321 +/- lighted displays, from 2nd thru 33rd

    Streets on the Boardwalk

    Average attendance about 25,300 vehicles and 100,000 persons per year (most recent five-year average)

  • Holiday Lights Program: Expenditures

    2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 5-Year Ave

    Production Expense $49,511 $66,880 $74,187 $62,239 $74,964 $65,556

    Labor $166,435 $158,063 $157,913 $173,925 $170,902 $165,448

    Marketing $38,351 $46,395 $33,430 $32,346 $28,456 $35,796

    Admin Fee $63,338 $54,864 $55,957 $66,911 $60,054 $60,225

    Admissions Taxes paid to City $28,790 $24,938 $25,435 $30,414 $27,297 $27,375

    Sponsorship Commission $7,500 $7,500 $7,500 $9,500 $14,640 $9,328

    New Light Displays $11,900 $30,813 $10,730 $70,699 $3,057 $25,440

    Refurbishing Displays $0 $54,668 $19,727 $1,275 $220,000 $59,134

    TOTAL EXPENSES $365,825 $444,120 $384,877 $447,309 $599,371 $448,300

  • Holiday Lights Program: Revenues (Gross and Net)

    2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 5-Year Ave

    Annual City Funding $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000

    Sponsorship $35,000 $32,000 $50,500 $51,125 $53,725 $44,470

    Ticket Sales $318,906 $271,671 $277,503 $333,403 $300,142 $300,325

    Vendor/Miscellaneous $5,672 $5,571 $12 $3,900 $3,000 $3,631

    Additional City Funding $0 $50,865 $0 $0 $220,000 $54,173

    TOTAL REVENUE $409,578 $410,107 $378,015 $438,427 $626,867 $452,599

    TOTAL EXPENSES $365,825 $444,120 $384,877 $447,309 $599,371 $448,300

    NET Program $43,753 -$34,013 -$6,862 -$8,882 $27,497 $4,299

  • Holiday Lights Program - Background

    321 +/- lighted displays Owned by the City

    Each display assembled from multiple panels

    Thousands of panels

    Many thousands of electrical connections

    When not in use, panels and frames are stored in a leased warehouse

  • City Contracts with BeachEvents for Holiday Lights

    If held Beachevents obligation is to . . . plan, schedule, stage, and/or coordinate . . . Holiday Lights at the Beach . . .

    No other detail in contract, but at a minimum, BeachEvents must:

    Remove the panels from storage

    Transport to the oceanfront, assemble, and light-up displays

    Manage all aspects of the nightly program

    Keep displays working for the six-week duration

    Disassemble the displays and return them to storage

    Contract with BeachEvents does not include, nor ever envisioned, any type of long-term, sustainable renewal and replacement program

  • Holiday Lights - Keeping the Displays Lighted

    Easier said than done

    Storms blow the displays over, damage them and saturate them with seawater

    Vandalism, tampering, pilferage

    Continuous wiring, light bulb, and other electrical failures requiring many hundreds of on-the-spot and as-needed repairs to the wiring and the lights to keep them working night-after-night

    These ad-hoc repairs have kept the show going for twenty years and have kept the annual cost of the program low

    Did not substitute for a long-term sustainable renewal and replacement program

  • Electrical Power for Holiday Lights

    Boardwalk Power supplied from 43 City-owned, permanent power pedestals on west side of the boardwalk at 26 intersections

    Constructed in the mid-1980s, operated and maintained by Public Works

    200 400 amp service, some higher

    Holiday lights requires the use of 40 temporary panelboards and a series of spider boxes fed from the 43 permanent pedestals

    None of the pedestals, panel, or spider boxes were ground fault protected before 2016

  • Boardwalk Power and Arc-Flash Hazards

    Arc-flash is a type of electrical explosion or discharge that results from a low-impedance connection through air to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system

    2014: OSHA adopted revised standards for arc-flash protection and assessing arc-flash hazards

    2014: Boardwalk lighting project revealed arc-flash concerns at every one of the permanent pedestals. Many of the pedestals were also exhibiting rust and other deterioration

    2015: City-wide arc flash hazard study found 31 of 43 pedestals at the oceanfront had arc flash hazard rating of either Level 4, or Level Danger. Determined to be a serious safety hazard

  • Boardwalk Power Other Issues Many pedestals wired directly to Dominion Power Transformer no

    master breaker switch

    Transformers shared with adjacent hotels and businesses

    To kill power to the pedestal, must kill power to the hotel or business sharing the transformer

    None of the permanent pedestals, temporary pedestals, or spider boxes were compliant with National Electric Code for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) requirements

    2016: Public Works began upgrading the boardwalk power pedestals to protect employees and the public, and to be compliant with OSHA and NEC requirements. Three pedestals were upgraded in fall 2016

  • Holiday Lights and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

    A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) device will trip-open an electric power circuit when it detects any unintended current flowing to ground

    Virtually any current (5-10 milliamps) diverted to ground through any conductor (metal, water, people) will trip-open the devices

  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Devices

  • Holiday Lights Program 2016 Season

    In 2016, Beachevents experienced major issues with any display connected to any power source with GFCI protection. The GFCI devices were constantly tripping-open and cutting power to the displays

    To get through the 2016 season, Beachevents worked around the three upgraded panels

  • GFCI What is the Problem?

    Displays are metal frames with hundreds to thousands of sockets/bulbs, and hundreds of feet of wiring. Its all exterior grade but not waterproof or designed for marine environment

    Seawater is 3.5% salt. Salt imparts substantial corrosive and conductive properties to water, moisture, and humidity

    GFCI tripping is caused by water and moisture creating small short circuits from the wire, sockets, and bulbs, to the displays (which are grounded)

    New wiring and sockets with dielectric grease and seals are more resistant but not immune. Wear and tear from assembly/disassembly, climbing on displays to change bulbs/repair wiring, and the ocean environment quickly breaks down both the wiring and the coatings on the displays providing an unlimited number of electrical pathways to ground

  • Holiday Lights Wiring - Chloride Corrosion

  • Holiday Lights Program The Bottom Line Beachevents has made valiant efforts over the years to ensure that the

    show will go on. But even before the GFCI problem, Beachevents struggled to keep the displays lighted

    The oceanfront is the harshest environment possible for this type of application

    The GFCI requirement has introduced a truly problematic issue

    The use of 120 VAC light strings for Holiday Lights in the moist, saline, oceanfront environment is incompatible with the required GFCI protection

    It is not an option to ignore or bypass the legal requirement to provide GFCI protection

  • Question: Are there Alternatives?

    Beachevents and the City have been experimenting with 12 Volt DC (VDC) lights

    12 VDC is not a safety hazard and the NEC does not apply to devices that operate on 50 volts or less

    The 120 VAC LED bulbs and the 12 VDC LED bulbs use the same sockets and wiring

    Displays may be converted from 120 VAC to 12 VDC by switching the bulbs and connecting the light string to a 12 VDC power supply

    Waterproof 12 VDC landscaping power supplies are abundant on the market and they are not expensive

  • Are there Alternatives? Answer: Maybe

    After testing several displays Beachevents has found that 12 VDC displays are very resistant to tripping the GFCI devices

    Tests have been conducted upon only a few displays, for a period of a few weeks, and on the greenbelt side of the boardwalk

    Cannot project this level of success to several hundred displays that must all function continuously for six weeks, on the beachside of the boardwalk especially in the aftermath of a storm

    There are other uncertainties involving the animated displays and whether voltage loss due to the accumulation of salt and moisture might cause the displays to dim out in the middle of the show

    Need real world testing, of many displays, and on the beach

  • Holiday Lights Program - Alternatives

    Full-scale traditional program: Not available for the 2017 season as there is not enough time to convert all the displays

    Scaled down program: Not available for the 2017 season as there is not enough time to convert even half half of the displays.

    Cancel the 2017 program but test various options and technologies for the future. Convert and setup several dozen displays where they could be seen from the boardwalk and hotel balconies. Cost would be about $175,000 and the financial commitment would need to be made immediately

    Cancel the Holiday Lights program altogether

  • Discussion/Questions

    HOLIDAY LIGHTS COVER LETTER.pdf2017-08-01_Holiday Lights.pdf

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