Seal Beach plans to brighten an iconic Old Town street.
Officials voted 5-0 Thursday to add 40 new light poles to Main Street and remove the current 19 poles that run along the well-known road from Pacific Coast Highway to the pier.
The decision caps more than a year of community meetings aimed at finding the right lighting to enhance the safety and charm of Main Street, something the business community has spent years persuing.
“There’s been some discussion about whether or not this is a worthy project,” said Deb Machen, president of the Seal Beach chamber of commerce. “And I want you to know that the members of the chamber businesses and our community feel that it, indeed, is a worthy and important project.”
City staff recommended the project because the old lighting doesn’t fit well with the surrounding trees, doesn’t help pedestrians and doesn’t “aesthetically match the character of Main Street.”
The new lights will be 16 feet tall and sit under the trees, unlike the current 19 Southern California Edison poles that stand about 28 feet tall. The city awarded the $454,983 project to the Chino-based Flatiron Electric Group, which made the lowest bid out of nine total applicants. The contract sets aside also set aside $68,000 for inspection and materials testing and allows the City Manager to approve contract changes up to $46,000.
About 12 people spoke during public comments, all in favor of the lighting plan.
Jim Klisanin, realtor at Baytown Realty, said the lights would be good for incoming businesses.
And, he added tongue-in-cheek, he’d be able stop his research into how to navigate the dark.
I was “looking for miner’s lights, shoes with lights on them, seeing-eye dogs, whatever it takes to get up and down Main Street,” Klisanin said.
“Even though this is something for Old Town, it’s really an emblem and a symbol of the whole city, and I would ask you to promote the village atmosphere in our city by promoting this,” said Mike Buhbe, another longtime Seal beach resident.
Staff expects the project to begin after Memorial Day. Altogether the city has set aside $688,000 for the project in the current budget.
The city commissioned a study on Main Street lighting conditions in November 2011 and approved the results of the study in July 2012. According to the staff report, the public selected the new lights a meeting Feb. 2012.
Also at the meeting, council members honored a Seal Beach Police Cpl. Dave Barr for his investigations that lead to the recovery more than $1.2 million worth of suspected stolen items, according to officials.