Posted Online: May 04, 2010, 9:59 pm

New streetlights coming to Silvis

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By Seth Kabala, seth@sethkabala.com

SILVIS — By the time the days get darker sooner, the city's streets will be brighter thanks to a project adding 30 new LED street lights.

During a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, Silvis aldermen approved advancing the low bid of $316,800 by JF Edwards Construction Co. of Geneseo to the a council vote on May 18. The additional lights will include 18 that are 30 feet high, illuminating 1st Avenue, and 12 that are 15 feet high illuminating the sidewalk, said City Engineer Roger Geiken.

The bid includes lights and replacement parts manufactured by Sternberg Lighting, an Illinois company. The city will own the lights and be responsible for all maintenance, said Ald. Matt Carter, 2nd Ward.

";At 2 o'clock in the morning, whenever the bars close, we can turn off the pedestrian walkway lighting," he said. That will leave only the taller lights to illuminate the street, he said.

The new lights are expected to be much brighter than the current ones. If necessary, the city also can dim them.

"We can manipulate them and shut certain leads down so we can still enjoy the moonlight parade," said Ald. Carter.

The lights will be bought using funds from Tax Increment Finance District 1. Work will start as soon as IDOT gives its approval, with Ald. Carter anticipating the lights will be ready for a proposed ceremony before the city's Moonlight Parade at the end of August.

"It's something that the Silvis residents will really be able to see and experience," Ald. Carter said.

In other business, alderman:

— Learned the energy grant Mayor Bill Fox wanted to use to buy new hybrid cars is only worth about $5,000. Mayor Fox said he didn't think it currently was worth pursuing.

—The fire department received a $5,000 grant to help buy new radios compatible with the short-band frequency the Federal Communications Committee has mandated all public safety two-way radios must use by Jan. 1, 2013.

—Moved an agenda item to spend $17,000 on patching frost heave dips in 10th Street to a full council vote May 18. Ald. Carter said the original price estimate of $62,000 was significantly reduced by negotiations with the contractor by Mr. Geiken and city administrator Jim Grafton.