Beautification Advisory Committee tasked with developing a lightning plan for the Marco Island

Bernadette Powers, standing, shares photos of Marco Lake-style lighting fixture footings Wednesday with members of the Beautification Advisory Committee. Powers said the footings are settling and creating a hazard. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Bernadette Powers, standing, shares photos of Marco Lake-style lighting fixture footings Wednesday with members of the Beautification Advisory Committee. Powers said the footings are settling and creating a hazard. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

— Three city councilors, the city manager and a representative of Olde Marco attended the Beautification Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday. A comprehensive lighting plan for Marco Island was tops on the agenda.

Marco Island’s City Council tasked the advisory committee with developing a master plan for streetlights. Councilors weighed in on that task at the committee’s meeting. The committee will be developing the plan over time, a process that could take a number of months.

Council Vice Chairman Joe Batte spoke on the value the committee could bring to council by forming its plan without influence by special interest groups. He also asked the committee to build its plan on good technical reasoning.

“I cannot give good information to people without a recommendation,” Batte said. “They will respect our opinion if we have a comprehensive well-reasoned plan for why we decided what we did.”

Batte urged committee members to use city staff to coordinate data collection. Public Works Director Tim Pinter, city liaison to the committee, offered to supply a lighting consultant to educate committee members on streetlight requirements. Additionally, he will give members lighting ordinances and citywide plans that might affect streetlight decisions including the new downtown plan directed by Joe Irvin, city zoning administrator.

Batte said the integration of the committee and council would be key to the plan’s success.

“Let council give ongoing feedback,” he said. “You deserve that.”

Council Chairman Larry Magel echoed Batte’s suggestions.

“Joe’s right on,” he said. “You need to make your decisions on objective criteria: Pedestrian counts, auto counts.”

Committee members asked questions of council and city staff to help focus their assignment. Developing auto counts would take time, Pinter said. Collier County counted traffic on Marco’s streets until 2005 when the practice was discontinued due to cost. The city recently purchased four traffic counting systems.

Pedestrians are generally counted by sight, using an hour’s worth of tallies to mathematically build a pedestrian profile, Pinter said. The committee felt with season winding down, it might need to wait to develop higher volume tallies when more people are on the island.

Barbara Murphy, the committee’s chairwoman, suggested using South Collier Boulevard as a benchmark. Lighting was completed in the area two years ago. Development on South Collier Boulevard is primarily residential with lights spaced approximately 225 feet apart on the left side of the road juxtaposed by on-center lights on the right side that divide the distance.

Murphy described the South Collier Boulevard lighting as subdued but sufficient. She also said she discussed lighting with Nancy Ritchie, the city’s environmental specialist, to determine the effects of “urban glow” on sea turtles, nesting birds and other species.

Bernadette Powers, representing Olde Marco, said she had hoped lighting in her area could have been resolved after council knew it had a surplus of Collier-style lights. She shared photographs of Marco Lake light fixture footings that showed settling, a problem she described as hazardous. Representatives of the Olde Marco area have been lobbying council to desist with the Marco Lake fixtures and use the Collier-style lights instead.

The beautification committee decided to set aside time for a workshop to concentrate solely on the lighting plan. A tentative date of Wednesday, April 18, was discussed pending conference room availability.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Beautification Advisory Committee will be held at 3 p.m., May 2, in City Hall’s 1st floor conference room, 50 Bald Eagle Drive.

© 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 3

Mayor_McCheese writes:

You would think they might have done something like this before they went out and bought all of those lights and installed them around the island. Why not just use the same ones all over the island - the ones on Collier.

For what it's worth, the lights they put up on Bald Eagle look completely out of place. Just use the same ones all over the island and everyone will be happy. Oh, I guess there will then be no need for this committee. I'm sure they can find something else productive to do now that I have solved the light issue.

ancientmariner writes:

The less lighting the better. We should just remove half the lights from Collier and redeploy them elsewhere, saving money and electricity. It might make the Olde Marco residents a little happier, too.

WizeOlMarco writes:

Bernadette Powers and her Olde Marco neighbors should be congratulated, and have my appreciation and thanks, for taking action after observing the City light installation progressing into Olde Marco. Olde Marco will be an even better place to live as result of Bernadette's initiative. Thanks Beautification Advisory Committee.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.