Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Jan. 3, 2000

Lights ordered for Highway 12

By Andrea Vargo

Lights for the section of Highway 12 from 13th Avenue to Sixth Avenue were selected by the Howard Lake City Council Tuesday.

The style had been chosen by the previous council more than a year and a half ago, but the height and number of globes per pole had yet to be determined.

Eighth Avenue has single globes on its poles, said City Engineer Brad DeWolf, but in order to get enough light out of this style of fixture, the new ones need to have two globes.

There is a difference of about $700 per pole for the extra globe, said DeWolf.

But the extra lights will mean fewer poles along the highway, so the cost is really not significant, he said.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) will complete a photometric layout that will determine the number of lamps needed to light the street properly, he said.

DeWolf told the council the manufacturer of the lights can increase the wattage of the bulbs in each globe to 400 watts, if necessary.

The final design needs to be done soon and approved if Mn/DOT wants to stay on schedule, said City Administrator Doug Borglund.

The decision needs to be made now, said DeWolf.

There are no boiler-plate fixtures. There is no place where there is a stockpile of lights like the city wants. They are all special order items, he said.

The council decided the light poles will be about 20 feet tall with two acorn globes aligned parallel with the highway. That is, if the photometric design shows this can be done.

The extra height over what the Eighth Avenue fixtures have will allow flags and Christmas decorations to be placed on the poles, yet keep the lights safe from snowplows, said Mayor Gerry Smith.

The poles will not have protective cement bases like the ones on Eighth Avenue have, said DeWolf, because there will be no cars parked by them.

An outlet for lighted decorations will be included on each pole, decided the council.

There was some discussion about whether the poles should be placed by the curb or back next to the buildings to protect them from snowplows.

If they are placed next to the buildings, problems could occur with signs and canopies.

For example, one council members asked what would happen if one of the poles needed to be placed where a business has a canopy?

Most of the council said they realized that would be a problem, and they felt that the higher poles could be safely placed next to the street.

They said they also felt if the city has fancy lights, they should show them off.

The council, with the exception of Shelly Reddemann, voted to place the lights next to the curb.

Local electrician Ralph Diers asked if he would be given a chance to bid on the project.

DeWolf told him he could bid through the highway contractors.

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