Why Do The Lights Stay On At Tulsa City Hall?


Tuesday, April 21st 2009, 9:07 pm
By: News On 6


By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa City Hall's bright lights are drawing attention.  The city is dealing with a revenue shortfall, and that has some people wondering why it leaves the lights on at One Technology Center.

The city says it is doing its best to curb its energy bill, but simply turning the lights out is not an option. 

One Technology Center has been a relatively recent addition to the Tulsa skyline.  Completed in 2002, it officially became Tulsa City Hall last year.

But, lighting the whole building isn't cheap, and the city says many taxpayers have pointed that out.

"When the city first moved into One Technology Center, the city got a lot of inquiries into why we're burning lights all night," said the city's Bob Bledsoe.

But, Bledsoe says all those lights aren't on simply to make city hall stand out at night.  One Technology Center is also home to a number of other companies, so someone is using the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"The city has to abide by the same rules everyone else does.  For the safety and health of occupants, you have to light walkways and aisles anytime the building is occupied," said the city's Bob Bledsoe.

Bledsoe also contends that the building is energy-efficient and doesn't use as much electricity as it appears to.  For example, the lights reflect off of white ceilings, which he says makes One Technology look even brighter from the street.

Still, the city is looking to cut costs.  At night, it turns off all unnecessary lights, as well as perimeter lights and the solar well on the side of the building.  It's a move that is expected to save nearly $23,000 a year.

So, despite the tough times, expect One Technology Center to continue to illuminate downtown Tulsa.

"I think a lot of employees that moved here are more than pleased when it got here. It's a comfortable building to work in," said the city's Bob Bledsoe.

Like they are every night, extra lights will be turned off at 10:30 p.m.