New OCC streetlights due by Thanksgiving

       Prep work for the new Old Colorado City streetlights has begun, with installation due to begin after Nov. 9 and, depending on delivery of the hardware from suppliers, be completed before Thanksgiving.
       An e-mail from Jim Thomas of Colorado Springs Utilities, outlining the schedule, was presented to the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance board by city liaison Ric Geiman at its meeting Oct. 26.
       “If the material for the lights is received by Nov. 9, we intend to have the lights installed before Thanks-giving,” Thomas' e-mail states. “The expected material delivery date is Nov. 9-23. We have asked our suppliers to deliver ASAP.”
       The prep work has consisted of hole boring by City Utilities and tree trimming by City Parks crews to make room for the 14- foot-high poles, each of which will have historic-style, two-headed lamps. According to studies, they should be brighter than the taller city lights that have been on the avenue for more than 50 years.
       A Thanksgiving completion would be desirable to Old Colorado City merchants, who traditionally put up Christmas decorations on Colorado Avenue around that holiday.
       Under an agreement that was finalized last summer, the district is paying most of the cost for the new lights, although City Utilities will retain ownership. The advantage to the district is not having to pay their electric bills, as it does for the historic globe lights that it bought and installed when the district started 25 years ago. Several of those lights have been failing, which prompted research into lighting alternatives several years ago. District members are holding off on removing the globe lights altogether until they are satisfied the new lights work as well as advertised.
       A total of 41 new light poles will be installed be-tween 24th and 27th streets.
       In other business…
       Board member Mary Purinsh asked Geiman to look into whether the city can disallow future political signs in front of the Prospector statue/park at 21st Street and Highway 24 and the Old Colorado City sign at 26th Street and Highway 24. Although Geiman said such signs are allowed in public rights of way - which those are - Purinsh said she believed the two locations are important to the Westside and as such should be off limits to political signage.
       Board members Ruby Reed, Judy Kasten and Purinsh spoke highly of the late Leon Young, who was the City Council member representing the Westside for nearly 30 years. “Leon Young went to bat for me when I had the problem with my store (several years ago on the Avenue),” Reed recalled. “I was amazed at how calm he was. In no time, he had taken care of it. After that he came into my store and apologized for how the city had treated me.”
       Remembering a time when Young came to the aid of the Old Colorado City History Center, Kasten marveled at how he could “beat the bushes and get people to give him money.”
       “The interesting thing is that he was so low-key,” Purinsh said, noting how a casual observer would probably not have known how much he got done.
       Young, whose council tenure ended in 2001, died Oct. 23.

Westside Pioneer Article