Idaho Power installs light bulbs at sports field


From left, city employees Jason George, Nick Edwards, and Tyler Petty, Idaho Power’s Nick Sarich, and city employee Wayne Wallace. The men watched as Idaho Power linemen, in bucket, replace lights at Roy Dickerson Memorial Field.
Enormous bucket truck was used to raise workers 90 feet into air
by Philip A. Janquart
 If you were near Roy Dickerson Memorial Field on Wednesday, May 3, you were treated to an unusual sight.
 A 58,000-pound Idaho Power bucket truck utilized its 100-foot extending boom to change out seven 1000-watt light bulbs at the sports complex.
 The new bulbs, which are about 18-inches long and cost about $85 a piece, will make a significant difference in visibility for football and evening baseball games.
 Fans, coaches, players, and school administrators have noticed the lighting for games has been getting dimmer.
 “The school notices way before we do,” said Weiser Public Works Director Mike Campbell. “We don’t know unless one of us is at a baseball or football game and they turn them on, but the teams use them for practice, and they usually let us know.”
 The bulbs were ordered and had arrived, but there was a delay getting them installed.
 Although it does not reach high enough, the city normally uses the fire department’s ladder truck to assist in getting the job done.
 “Those poles are 90 feet high, and the ladder truck goes up to 60 feet,” explained city employee Jason George on Wednesday.
 That’s not normally a big deal.
 In the past, city workers would climb the remaining 30 feet using specialized pole climbing gear.
 The ladder truck, however, is not certified at the moment and could not be used this time around.
 Campbell indicated that they don’t necessarily need the truck, that a worker could have climbed the full length of the poles using the climbing gear.
 The poles, however, need to be tested, meaning changing out the lights would have to wait.
 “I was going to have them climb and do it this summer, but I needed to get those poles tested before I sent a person up there,” Campbell said. “They are going to be tested … so we have a little more knowledge of how good they are; they aren’t bad, but before we have anybody climb them, I want to make sure they are 100 percent.”
 But varsity baseball coach, Bowe von Brethorst, saw a way to make it happen sooner.
 It turns out one of his players has a pretty solid connection with Idaho Power. Luke Sarich’s father, Nick, works for the company that supplies power to most of Idaho.
 On Wednesday, the enormous truck was at Roy Dickerson Field, two Idaho Power workers inside the bucket at the end of a boom, which was raised the full 90 feet. Together, they got the bulbs replaced and no one had to climb the poles.
 The work was done in just a few hours.
 “These trucks are normally used for high-transmission lines,” Nick told the Signal American. He was on hand to oversee the project. “They are used for the big lines that come from down in Boise and the Boise bench. The bottom sections are called elevators. We have a couple of them at our motor pool (in Boise) and they just bought a new one that will [raise] 200 feet.”
 Some manufacturers, such as Bronto Skylift, offer trucks with aerial platforms that can extend an impressive 285 vertical feet.
 The truck used on Wednesday, Nick explained, was dropped off in Weiser by a crew working on an extended project to rebuild transmission lines between Cambridge and Council.
 “They work on sections of it every summer,” he said.
 Crews assigned to that specific project work from Tuesday to Tuesday and dropped the truck off in Weiser on their way back for some time off.
 “The Idaho Power guys called us and asked if we wanted them to help us out and I said, ‘I would love to have you do that,’” Campbell said. “I give them kudos – a real shout out to Idaho Power for coming over and helping us out.”
 Weiser High School Athletic Director, Tyler Grant, was also happy for the help.
 “Anytime we get collaboration in a small town like this is very welcome,” he said.
 Weiser School District Superintendent Wade Wilson was impressed and likewise grateful.
 “God bless them,” he said.
 
 

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