Council approves funding for downtown building lighting

Council approves funding for downtown building lighting

Spencer Main Street’s downtown lighting project got the green light Monday night.

The Spencer City Council at its meeting that night voted 6-0 to approve the city contributing $155,000 toward the project to get it started.

“We are excited about this project,” Spencer Main Street Director Nancy Naeve said. “It’s been at least two years in the making.”

When installed, the lighting will go from State Bank and the Hy-Vee gas station down through the downtown district along Grand Avenue.

“We do want to include HyVee, Spencer Oral Surgery and Walgreens, just to extend it back a little bit further,” Naeve said. “But we’re hoping they will pay for most of their own buildings because it’s not in the original scheme and it wasn’t in the original back when Bob Rose and the guys did it.”

The project cost came in about 50% cheaper than expected, Naeve noted. In total, the cost is $215,000. Spencer Main Street has $60,000 in reserve to cover the remainder of bill.

When complete, the LED lights will have 20 different color schemes and will be “darn near indestructible,” Naeve said.

The color schemes will be changed throughout the year.

“We can change it for St. Patrick’s Day, homecoming, Flag Fest,” Naeve said. “And we will have them on year-round, not just at the holidays.”

Naeve said she hopes to have the lights installed by Black Friday.

The city’s contribution includes $15,000 in a grant and $140,000 in a loan. That loan will be repaid over the course of seven years at $20,000 per year.

The city will fund the loan with money from its economic development fund. Loan repayments will go back into that fund, according to an agenda memo.

Naeve said there is still time for other building owners who are not included in current project plans to have lights installed on their buildings.

“If you want your building done, we can order them and we can get them installed and you pay for them,” she said. 

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