Is Town Lighting Doomed To Fail?

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Marine Resources Task Force committee member Mary Rose Spalletta does not have rave reviews for the consultant the town hired to come up with a plan to light Estero Boulevard. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

Spalletta told the council on Monday that Town Lighting has made mistakes at every step of the way. She said the consulting firm has provided inaccurate information and stated things that are unfair for the community.

Town Lighting appears to be leaning toward recommending a dual lighting fixture. It would provide amber light during turtle season and white light during non-turtle season. Spalletta said there’s not a single stakeholder that requested a dual lighting fixture and they seemed to be focused on this dual lighting source.

Spalletta said safety is important and the committee did not find any data that proves amber lighting is unsafe. She wants the consultant to “discontinue their narrative” and stop saying white light is safer. “They are not safer and there’s nothing that proves they are safer.”

Spalletta says the dual light is not even commercially available at this time. According to Spalletta, the Marine Resources Task Force wants the council to reject the dual light if it comes before them. She says the committee does not want the town to spend any additional time or money on a solution nobody has requested and they want the consultant to pursue a year round amber light source.

Councilman Bill Veach voiced his concern that the consultant is pushing for a plan the company would then be hired to implement. He says he’s concerned about a conflict of interest.

Under the contract, which could run as high at $185,000, the consulting firm must deliver a plan to the council by the end of September. They are planning to make a presentation at the September town council management and planning meeting

3 COMMENTS

  1. Eddie … I have repeatedly said the same thing for months, including saying it directly to various town council members. Successful companies, corporations, towns, cities and states learn from others when looking to implement something new. Look around, ask questions and learn from others’ failures and successes. Find someone that’s doing it well and do what they do. There’s zero reason to pay a consultant (or multiple consultants) to offer recommendations that will be ridiculed and ignored anyway.

  2. I agree with Steve. But my question is, there are boulevards all along the Florida coastlines that have lighting for the safety of pedestrians and are turtle-friendly, why is the council not contacting the engineers that have already designed these existing lighting systems already in use? But instead, typical of this council, they would rather spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with multiple consulting firms to “reinvent the wheel “.

  3. Valid points:
    She is correct, there is not a commercially available dual light on the market.
    The town would assume an extremely expensive option and ridiculously high risk in choosing the dual light option.
    She is correct that amber lighting can be as safe as white light. But only when adding hundreds of additional light poles and fixtures and millions of dollars of additional cost. Do we really want our little island and Estero Blvd cluttered with that many more light poles? Can we justify and afford a solution that costs the town millions of additional dollars?
    She brought up the offensive, obtrusively bright white lights that were installed in Cape Coral. No one is saying they want white lights anywhere near as bright as those particular lights.
    The ONLY reasonable and feasible lighting option for safety, turtles and cost to the town is properly shielded white lights at an acceptable and appropriate brightness level.

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