After months of discussion and debate, the sponge dock improvement project has been reduced to individual plans for lighting and streetscape.
TARPON SPRINGS – Sidewalk lighting plans, designated as the first step in the revamped sponge dock improvement project, are almost ready to go before the Tarpon Springs City Commission for final approval.
During two public meetings, City Manager Mark LeCouris and Kathleen Monahan, director of cultural and civic services, met with residents to hear opinions on street lighting for Dodecanese Boulevard.
Specifics are still limited, but one requirement is an increased height on light poles, likely going from 14-feet to 18-feet tall. The taller the post, the larger the radius of light from the light bulb, thus increasing the impact of each pole on the street and sidewalk. The city also has finalized the use of LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs, again to increase the amount of light produced.
“The light radius needs to encompass the sidewalk and the street,” LeCouris said at the June 2 meeting. “If one (pole) provides more light, that’s the one (we’ll buy).”
Monahan also pointed out that taller poles would hopefully reduce the risk of cars driving into them in the dark.
Envision Lighting Systems, a lighting company based in St. Petersburg, presented a number of options to residents, many of whom favored an inverted L-shaped post that would allow the city to hang banners and decorations for special events and holidays. Other details yet to be established include spacing between lights, the stretch of Dodecanese Boulevard that will be covered by the new lights and the size and design of the bases.
LeCouris also said they are looking into the possibility of including cell phone chargers on the poles. Final plans likely will not be determined until further discussions with Duke Energy establish the electrical possibilities.
The lighting plans will go before the Tarpon Springs City Commission for final approval, after which LeCouris said he will begin discussing next steps in the project.
“Once we know the lights are coming,” LeCouris said, “we can start landscaping, benches and everything else.”