HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Nov. 21, 2005

New streetlights to connect Cokato downtown, Hwy 12

By Lynda Jensen

A preliminary design for lamps of new streetlights, which will tie the downtown area in Cokato to Highway 12, was chosen by the Cokato City Council last Monday.

The acorn-style lights, which will alternate along Broadway Avenue from the Railroad Park to Highway 12, will replace aging Cobra lights that require replacement due to rust and age.

Three options were presented by consultant Jim Pederson of Illum-A-Nation of Forest Lake, which represented months of work from the committee formed to investigate different options with the street light situation.

All three options offered streetlights with double lamps at the fourway stop, and single lamps along Broadway, with an acorn-style lantern that cost about $5,500 per pole for single lanterns and $7,500 per pole for doubles.

To help offset the cost, other cities have offered brass plaques for businesses or other entities to adopt each pole, with names engraved on the plaques.

Pederson summarized research on the lighting, including reliable manufacturers, warranties, and an appraisal of the cost versus energy efficiency of different makes and models.

The figures did not include ornamental holders, banner brackets or flag brackets, which are considered extra.

The options were:

• Option one, with 29 single acorn style lights and 12 twin style lights.

• Option two, with 20 single acorn lights and four twin poles, which would alternate Highway 12 to the railroad park, for $180,000.

• Option three, which offered 17 single lamp poles and four double style poles.

Council member Phil Haataja asked how the city was going to pay for the project, expressing concern over cost, since the total cost ranged from $156,000 to as high as $260,000 if the city chose to go with more lights.

“If we do nothing, it will cost us money to replace bulbs,” Mayor Bruce Johnson said. “They’re deteriorating and dangerous,” he said of the existing streetlights. The committee attempted to choose economical and attractive lights, he noted.

Sheriff contract OK’d

Turning to other subjects, the council approved a two-year law enforcement contract with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department at a cost of $50 per hour during 2006 and $52.25 per hour during 2007 for 12 hours of police protection, per day.

According to the contract, the city is required to provide a computer workstation in a city-owned building at no cost to the county, with a sign outside indicating the location of the sheriff’s substation and appropriate telephone numbers displayed on the exterior of the building.

The city provides a phone line and Internet connection located at the Village Ranch, which serves as a remote location for deputies, Haataja said.

The city spends about $22,000 per year on law enforcement, it was noted.

Total calls for service for Cokato by the Wright Co. Sheriff Dept.:

2001 429

2002 458

2003 443

2004 470

2005 (so far) 430

Average calls: 446

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