Downtown Mount Morris will receive a facelift from a village standpoint. The village board, with the recommendation of the village planning commission, voted to replace the aging downtown street lighting.
The present lighting is antiquated, with poles being about 70 years old, and light fixtures 55 to 60 years old. No parts are available for repairs, and the overhead wiring is losing its insulation, causing shorts when it's windy or raining, knocking out the entire system.
The new lighting has been under consideration for more than 9 years. It will consist of all underground wiring with decorative poles having a historic type, acorn-style fixture using LED technology, which will drastically cut utility bills, saving the village money.
There will be little to no maintenance costs for quite a few years, saving additional money. Overall, there will be a long-term savings to the village.
In addition, getting rid of the old poles and overhead wiring will enhance the beauty of the downtown and campus.
This project will go hand in hand with enhancements made in front of the bandshell last year. The campus and bandshell are getting a lot of use, especially during the summer months. The improvements can only help attract new businesses, events, and people to the area.
Construction will start soon with the installation of underground wiring and foundations for the new poles being installed. By the time this work is finished, the new poles and fixtures should be arriving from the manufacturer in Roselle, at which time the contractor will start installing the new lighting.
The old lighting will stay in place until the new lighting is fully operational sometime in the early fall. There will probably be some sort of official lighting ceremony to dedicate the new lights at that time.
Mount Morris is very excited to be able to have this transformation for our downtown area.
Note to readers: Jerry Stauffer is the planning commission chairman and lighting project coordinator.