12/11/08 — New lampposts to bring more light to downtown Mount Olive

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New lampposts to bring more light to downtown Mount Olive

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 11, 2008 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The downtown revitalization project that contributed to the town's hodgepodge style of street lights also will be responsible for making the fixtures more uniform.

As part of the project, new street lights were installed on the west side of the 200 block of North Center Street.

The new lights are different from those installed some 20 years ago during revitalization of the 100 block of North Center Street. They are different still from the old-style lights found on the 100 block of South Center Street.

Town Manager Charles Brown said he had spoken with Progress Energy officials about the lights on the 100 north block.

"The street lights on the 100 block were fine until we got these brand new ones," Brown said. "It is like when you get a new car and the one in the garage starts to look beat-up looking.

"They (Progress Energy) have new lights that are basically part of our contract with them. It will be the same light fixtures that we have on the other (200) block. Not only will they look nicer, but they put out more light. It will brighten that whole block up. It will make it safer and more attractive."

Brown said the older lights were on a 10-year contract with Progress Energy.

"It is kind of like a cell phone contract, when it runs out you can get a new phone," he said. "We just have to renew our contracts and we pay for them on a monthly basis. The new ones (on the 200 north block) since they are a new service they were included in the scope of the project and we'll just have a monthly fee for the contract on them. Since the contract was up on the 100 block they are going to come in and replace them for us."

The materials have been ordered.

Brown doesn't expect to see the fixtures installed until after the first of the year.

As for the final downtown block, Brown said he is unsure anything can be done with the lights on the 100 block of South Center Street.

"However, the town is working on a way to do some resurfacing and sidewalk repair, particularly on the east side by Patterson Furniture Co.," he said.

"That is in bad need of some work, the street surface and sidewalk. We are going to try to do as much as we can down there to improve the appearance, but I don't know that we will be able to swing new lights."

The town also is hoping to try to get some landscaping similar to that in the 200 block.

"We think we can do that within the scope of funds that we have available," Brown said. "That, again, will be after the first of the year."