Narrabri Shire Council voted today to revisit the option of lights on the footpaths following a comprehensive briefing by lighting consultant Mr Greg Don.
Earlier the favoured street lights option had been trending towards a two metre median strip along the centre of the three business blocks, but the proposal had drawn a mixed response from the community.
Following a comprehensive presentation from Mr Don, and many questions from councillors, council decided to give a new brief to the consultant.
The brief calls for a report ‘as soon as practicable’ for a design for footpath mounted lights, which would be 700 mm in from the kerb, with 250 watt high pressure sodium lights, all to Essential Energy specifications with a proviso that the existing street trees be retained.
Discussion about the proposed CBD street lighting opened a complex range of issues.
The conversation ranged through revisiting the footpath mounted lights versus a median strip installation down the three blocks, the advantages of Essential Energy and the costs of various options.
Councillors asked many questions and were given a detailed overview of the options by Mr Don.
The brightness and styles of lighting were canvassed at length.
Councillors discussed the cost savings in not resurfacing the main street if the lights were installed on the footpaths.
Originally, a complete resurfacing of Maitland Street was needed because the median strip configuration would have meant the road was effectively ripped up.
Considerable savings would be made if there was no main street rebuild needed.
Other issues raised were the possibility of using the lighting cable trench down the footpaths for closed circuit security television system cabling.
This was achievable, Mr Don said, if the trench was made a little wider than the required 300mm so the cable could be laid separately.
This kind of arrangement was generally acceptable to Telstra and the National Broadband Network agency.
Power access at each pole would be available so electrical leads could be plugged in for festival lights or other uses.
Use of Essential Energy approved components would mean that Essential Energy was responsible for all repairs and maintenance and ultimately replacement, for an annual fee.
LED lighting was not an option offered by Essential Energy at the moment.
However, the bottom line was that a start on the CBD lights would be unlikely before early next year, possibly February.