TARPON SPRINGS – After months of arguments and blame, the first part of the revised sponge dock improvement project is ready to go.
More than 100 lights will be installed along the sponge docks and up the first block of Athens Street, hopefully by October or November.
“The main thing we wanted to accomplish was a more nautical look than you see down there now,” said City Manager Mark LeCouris at the July 1 City Commission meeting when the plans were given final approval.
LeCouris also said that he and his staff looked for more energy-efficient light, as well as the ability to hang decorations and add more lights for special occasions.
The 119 lights will be purchased from Graybar Electric Supplies, Inc. for $264,381.10, part of the $3 million initially designated for the improvement project; the cost does not include installation or electrical work.
Before the lights can be installed, Duke Energy will come in to remove their wiring, which does not have to meet the same standards that the city will have to meet. After that, temporary lights will be installed while the permanent fixtures are arranged. The temporary lights will be an additional cost, but the city manager said they are necessary. He also assured commissioners that there would be minimal disturbance to businesses along the sponge docks.
“We will not leave the docks in the dark,” LeCouris said.
Now that the lighting is done, LeCouris said he will move on to begin work on landscaping, benches and receptacles along the docks.
“It’s a great project to enter the Christmas season,” he said.