City council: New streetlights for Walmart area approved

At its Monday night meeting, the Rochelle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance amending the purchase authority for the purchase and installation of streetlights on both sides of Illinois Route 38 near Walmart.

Albers recognized after retirement from RPD

ROCHELLE — At its Monday night meeting, the Rochelle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance amending the purchase authority for the purchase and installation of streetlights on both sides of Illinois Route 38 near Walmart.

Last year, the city council approved the purchase of 40 Cyclone-brand streetlights for the area. Due to lengthy delays in the permitting process, the purchase of the lights was delayed until final approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation to place them could be had. Since original council approval, Cyclone changed the design of the light heads and several price increases were seen, Rochelle Municipal Utilities Superintendent of Electric Operations Blake Toliver said.

After reviewing the lighting plan, the city determined it would be best to not only place new lighting structures along Illinois Route 38, but also to replace the existing light heads along Caron Road and North Pointe Street.

“We think this new design will help tie into the fluted design of the poles downtown,” Toliver said. “That's why we'd like to go with the new style fixture. We also decided to change out all of the heads on the Caron Road extension as well as North Pointe so it will tie all of the lights together in that area.

The amendment council approved Monday accounts for price increases as well as the additional light heads. The cost for the purchase is $441,545. The funding will come out of the Lighthouse Point TIF (tax increment financing) district fund.

The city received the permit to do the work from IDOT over the weekend. Additional construction contract work will be required for the installation of the underground system for the streetlights.

Toliver said the city will have to go out for bid for the installation of the streetlights. That will be an additional cost. The budgeted amount for the project is $645,000.

“The $441,545 is just for the fixtures,” Toliver said. “The $645,000 budgeted amount includes installation. It's not going to be super complex, so I would think with the boring and setting of the bases and the rest of the work, we should still be under budget with this.”

The current non-LED streetlight fixtures the city has in the area have a brightness capacity of 18,000 lumens. The new LED fixtures will have a capacity of 27,000, Toliver said. That could potentially allow the city to use less light fixtures in the future and have more light output on the roadway.

Toliver said the city wants to make the new fixtures the standard to use when it eventually gets involved with IDOT’s reconstruction of Illinois Route 251 in the northern part of town. The city’s portion of that will include new pedestrian paths and street lighting.  

“That's one good thing about LED lighting, it's very directional to the road and we could also have it project backwards if we had a pedestrian path behind the fixtures,” Toliver said.

Retirement

During the meeting, Rochelle Police Department Detective Brian Albers was honored for his 20 years of service with RPD after he retired last week.

Albers was unable to attend the Monday meeting, but a retirement party was held in his honor last week and he was presented with a plaque for his years of service by City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.

"It's always hard to see somebody leave that's got a long history with the department," Mayor John Bearrows said. "Because you lose a lot of experience. He and the others at the department show some pretty amazing dedication to not only our community, but to each other. Brian surely will be missed in his retirement and we wish him all the best."

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