When streetlights are installed in a subdivision on the south side of Brownstown, residents said they hope it will deter crime and make the area safer and look better.
Among the four streets in the Lucas-Ackerman fourth addition, two have no lights, and the other two aren’t lit well.
Resident Brian Wheeler approached the Brownstown Town Council in early August after at least 20 thefts had occurred in the area. He said one reason for the thefts was the lack of streetlights.
The town then talked to Duke Energy, which owns and maintains the streetlights throughout the county seat, to figure out style options and costs of installing eight streetlights in the subdivision.
During a meeting this week, Clerk-Treasurer Dave Willey shared that information with council members.
After the five council members talked about it and received input from subdivision residents, they unanimously agreed on traditional style sodium vapor lights, which look similar to the ones along Main and Walnut streets in town.
Of the three options, those were the least expensive at $10,548.77 for installation of eight black-coated aluminum poles and light fixtures and trenching from the electrical source. The cost to operate is $5.90 per light per month.
Willey said the money would come out of the cumulative capital development fund.
“My main feeling as a resident of Lucas-Ackerman is we’ve got two things I want to accomplish,” Eric Sibrel said. “That is we get adequate lighting, especially based on what happened during the month of July. I think that probably escalated everything. Then I think we should maintain the attractiveness of the neighborhood. We all want to make sure that our property values increase. That’s what everybody wants.”
Light-emitting diode was the other lighting option, either in traditional style with a cover on the light fixture or acorn style with a globe light fixture. The base cost for traditional was $15,052.36 with a monthly cost of $3.03 per light, while acorn would cost $17,623.03 with a monthly rate of $3.27 per light.
The council discussed how LED lighting lasts longer, uses less energy and doesn’t emit heat, but the upfront cost is higher.
“Personally, I feel like we ought to, as time goes on, start going into LEDs and replacing sodium vapor lights around town,” council President John Nolting said.
Councilwoman Bethany Brewster responded that would be nice if the funding were available.
Sally Cate Lawson, who was sworn in as the new Ward 5 council member at the start of the meeting, said sodium vapor lighting might be best now because if repairs need to be made, Duke Energy already is familiar with that style.
Since the council approved the lights, Willey said he will pass the agreement on to Duke Energy, and the utility will begin installing them as it fits into the schedule.
Willey said each pole will be 12 feet high, which is about 2 feet shorter than the ones along Main and Walnut streets.