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