Why the lights are low in Old Town
Utilities supplier sent wrong bulbs

       The Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District has an answer now as to why the new streetlights look so dim.
       It's because Colorado Springs Utilities was installing 100-watt instead of 150-watt bulbs. According to Rachel Beck of Utilities, this was a mistake by the city's bulb supplier. In the meantime, the streetlight poles and related hardware are being installed with the dimmer bulbs “so the area will have some light,” Beck said.
       She estimated that it will take two to three weeks for the 150-watt bulbs to arrive and be installed in place of the 100s.
       The district's advisory committee had complained at its meeting Jan. 19 that the long-awaited lights, which Utilities began installing Jan. 10, were not bright enough. The district paid $97,000 for the historic-style lights and poles, with the balance of the $127,000 cost being covered by Utilities.
       Contacted after the meeting by committee chair Judy Kasten, City Councilman Jerry Heimlicher said he raised the issue with Utilities Director Phil Tollefson, resulting in an e-mail from a Utilities official that included the following statement from Brent Schubloom, Utilities' system extensions manager:
       “This week staff discovered that the manufacturer sent us 100-watt luminaries instead of 150-watt. The manufacturer is in the process of shipping out new ballasts so we can upgrade the lights that have been installed. As we receive the new ballasts, the plan is to upgrade the lights that have been installed and to upgrade the uninstalled lights at the shop and then install them… This change should definitely add more light in the area for the planned installations.”
       Judy Kasten said she is glad that action is occurring on the issue sooner instead of later. The consensus at the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance committee meeting Jan. 19 had been to wait until all the lights were up, then measure to verify the candlepower. However, she said she decided to call Heimlicher the next day in the belief it would be prudent to let the city know right away that there appeared to be a problem.
       The committee, which handles the public amenities for the shopping district in the 24th to 27th block on and near Colorado Avenue, still plans to check the lighting level when all 41 new standards are in, Kasten said. In a letter to the district last summer, Schubloom had pledged that the candlepower would be higher than that of downtown Colorado Springs.
       “Time will tell,” said Heimlicher, whose district includes the older Westside. “At least we have their attention.”

Westside Pioneer article