Town Lighting, the consultant Fort Myers Beach has hired to come up with a plan for lights in Estero Boulevard, will recommend the town install the eLuminaire (pictured here), dual source light, which is not on the FWC certified product list.
The light would be Amber during turtle season at 16,500 Lumens and switch to white during non-turtle season at 17,000 lumens.
The initial cost to install the lights on Estero Boulevard is just under $5 million. Additional poles would also need to be installed if this is the chosen option. The consultant says this is the recommended option because of its year-around accommodation of road users, pedestrians, bicyclists and wildlife.
The last time the town council met they made it clear they wanted turtle friendly lighting.
Town Lighting says that while FWC wildlife lighting certification is recommended, it’s not required for lighting along Estero Boulevard. “It’s recommended, because certification eases the plans review and permitting process for lighting systems in wildlife-sensitive areas, and it may provide a level of comfort to the public about the lighting used in their community.”
If it’s determined that a sea turtle died due to non-FWC certified lights on Estero Boulevard the town would be facing a $25,000 FWC fine (per turtle).
According to the Town Lighting recommenation, the eLuminaire product is also not available on the FPL product list. And if the town owns the system the town would also be responsible for all maintenance to the system.
The town’s Marine Resources Task Force Committee and Public Safety Committee are holding a joint meeting Monday at 9AM to discuss the recommendation. One committee member told us yesterday that the results are no surprise. “It’s what the consultant wanted from the start. To hell with the stakeholders. This has been a mockery and a waste of time.” Town Lighting will be paid up to $185,000 for their work. They must have a completed plan to the town council by the end of September.