Dim bulbs?
Old Colorado City district in dark about wattage Utilities using for new streetlights

       First Colorado Springs Utilities did not get Old Colorado City's new streetlights in by Christmas. Then, this week, Utilities announced another delay, this time in completing the installation it had finally started Jan. 10.
       But what really stuck in the craw of the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District Committee at its meeting Jan. 19 was that the historic-style streetlights that have been installed aren't very bright.
       “They're not spreading any light,” commented committee member Ginny Wesley.
       Even before the meeting, Committee Chair Judy Kasten said she'd sent a message to the Utilities project manager asking for wattage information. A reply had not come back before the meeting, she told the committee.
       But the district has what may be may be a hole card, in a letter from Utilities last summer stating that the candlepower of the new lights would be 2.17 candles - noticeably brighter than the 1.62 on Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs.
       With that in mind, longtime committee member Bill Grimes outlined what he thought the district should do: “We put them in (the new lights), turn off our lights (the old district-owned globe lights), bring in a light meter, then call our city councilman and say, 'What are you going to do?'”
       Other board members agreed by consensus with that concept.
       Now it's just a matter of waiting for Utilities to complete the installation. The delay, estimated at two weeks, is due to the new flanges at the pole bases unexpectedly not fitting, according to Ric Geiman of City Parks, who serves as the city's liaison to the committee. The expected completion date for the new lights is now early February.
       Regarding the lack of brightness, the problem might be solved by as simple a task as the city increasing the wattage in the bulbs, Geiman said. That's why a light meter would be necessary, to prove that the current candlepower is less than promised.
       A Utilities representative on the issue was not at the meeting, nor could anyone be reached by press deadline later Wednesday night.
       In an agreement with Utilities, the district paid $97,000 for 41 new double-headed lights, while Utilities paid $30,000 and will take over their ownership and maintenance responsibility. Of these, 34 are replacing the city enterprise's old, standard-style lights and 7 are in new locations. The committee's hope has been that if the new lights turn out as bright as advertised, the district's original, 26-year-old globe lights - several of which are failing - could be removed.
       The councilman Grimes referred to was Jerry Heimlicher, whose district includes Old Colorado City. Heimlicher had helped the district work with Utilities in finalizing the streetlight deal last summer.
       At that time, Utilities had pledged to install the lights before Christmas as a perk for shoppers. But problems with a pole supplier made that impossible.

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