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‘Historic’ lighting moves forward

Plans for decorative streetlights along Campbell Station Road are going forward, Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen indicated Thursday night, Dec. 8.

The discussion on the historic lights was a workshop item, so no official vote was taken, but the Board instructed Town administrator David Smoak to go forward with researching the exact cost of the lights and the estimated salvage price Farragut could get for the year-old streetlights along Campbell Station now.

The Board has budgeted $550,000 for the project.

Town engineer Darryl Smith indicated it could cost a bit more than that if the Board wanted the lights to extend from Parkside Drive to Kingston Pike.

The cost likely would be more along the lines of $630,000 to $680,000, depending on the types of bulbs used.

“I applaud the Board’s efforts ... and I support the concept ... but I do struggle with the timing,” Alderman Ron Honken said.

Although farragutpress readers have expressed displeasure with the decorative lights idea, no citizens showed up for the workshop at Town Hall.

Smith and Smoak presented the Board with rough plans and numbers during the workshop, including the idea that decorative streetlights — teardrop-shaped luminaires — really would need to be put in with decorative utility poles.

The utility poles would line one side of the street and the streetlights would line the other, otherwise “we’ll be awash in a sea of poles and lines,” Smith said.

The new decorative utility poles (with decorative streetlight arms) could cost $10,000 apiece.

Alderman Bob Markli wasn’t thrilled with the look of the poles Smith presented.

“They’re kind of like what we’ve already got, only black,” he said.

Smith was showing a photograph of a street in Collierville that demonstrated the utility pole/streetlight arrangement he foresaw for Campbell Station, and indicated there were many other decorative light designs one could choose from.

Mayor Ralph McGill pointed out to the Board the cost of the decorative streetlights should be considered with the fact the Town could sell the streetlights currently in place along Campbell Station.

He asked Smith how much they could get for them.

Smith said the current poles cost about $1,600 ($3,200 with installation) apiece and that the Town probably could recover about $400 apiece for them. He estimated there were about 35 streetlights on the road now.

“I’d be awfully hesitant to take down something we paid that much money for to get that return,” Markli said.

Markli also asked about the discrepancy in estimated price determined by what type of light bulb is used — LED or high-pressure sodium.

Community Development director Ruth Hawk said, “LED [the more expensive of the two] in the long run pays for itself. For the life of the fixture, it will be cheaper.”

Smoak pointed out the Board also should consider what color of light they’d like the corridor to have, since LED lights tend to cast a blue glow and sodium lights tend to be yellow.

The Board asked Smith and Smoak to return with more specific numbers: how much new lights would cost and how much the old lights could be sold for. They also asked the pair to bring back a few different decorative light designs for consideration and answer questions about LED light maintenance.


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