Saddle Up donation

Power Survey, which inspected street lights for the city, donated its $50,000 fee to the non-profit Saddle Up Therapeutic Riding Stables. Front row: Ray Gray from Saddle Up (left), Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer (center) and Palmdale Public Works Director Chuck Heffernan (right); in the back row are Councilmember Laura Bettencourt (left), Councilmembers Richard Loa (second from left) and Mayor Pro Tem Austin Bishop (second from right) and Councilmember Juan Carrillo (right).

PALMDALE — A New Jersey firm hired by the city to help with inspecting some 18,000 streetlights when problems were found in January, turned around and donated its fee to a local charity.

Power Survey Company worked with the city to inspect streetlights when it was discovered some had wiring problems which could be dangerous to people nearby.

The company donated the $50,000 fee paid by the city for its work to Saddle Up Therapeutic Riding Stables, a Palmdale non-profit which provides horseback riding therapy to physically and mentally challenged individuals.

“Power Survey donated their fee to a local charity as a goodwill gesture to the city of Palmdale for its quick response to this emergency,” City Manager James Purtee said. “We not only appreciate the outstanding quality of their work, but their generosity is a testament to the quality of their organization.”

The $50,000 donation was presented during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The organization plans to use the donation to purchase a lift to assist riders on and off the horses for therapy, as well as support the overall program offered.

“This is going to be an awesome gift for our families,” Saddle Up representative Ray Gray said.

The organization has been helping people through its therapeutic riding program for nearly 20 years, and “we’ve wanted this for that long period of time,” Gray said of the lift.

“They do really great work and I know this will go a long ways helping them do their jobs,” Mayor Steve Hofbauer said.

“We are proud to support the team at Saddle Up and the great work they do,” said Thomas Catanese, Power Survey Company President and CEO. “Saddle Up has earmarked the funds to ensure their program is affordable for all riders in the community, and to purchase a lift system that will enable physically challenged riders to safely mount and dismount therapy horses. A lot of kids and families are going to get an amazing experience at Saddle Up for many years to come.”

Power Survey was brought to Palmdale after city officials discovered faulty wiring in a streetlight that had been reported as not functioning by a resident. The repair crew found a prob­lem with the wiring on that light, which led to inspecting other lights to see if the problem was wide­spread and city officials instructed residents to steer clear of streetlights citywide.

Power Survey uses specialized equipment to perform “drive-by” inspections to check for power leakage. The problem areas are then physically inspected and fixed as needed. With this equipment, the company was able to inspect the entire city in about four weeks, Public Works Director Chuck Heffernan said.

Last spring, the city com­pleted purchase of 18,000 streetlights from Southern California Edison, taking over their operation from the utility and allowing the city to change to more efficient LED lights.

The installer removed the old light fixture at the top of the light poles and at­tached the new LED fix­tures, which are slightly dif­fer­ent in profile than the previous sodium-vapor lights.

City crews have completed about 12,000 of the 18,000 fixtures that need to be addressed, Heffernan said.

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