The stars may seem a little brighter in downtown Salida for the next few nights. Xcel Energy has temporarily turned off the cobra lights in downtown at the request of the City. This has been done in order to test the level of lighting in the downtown area. The cobra lights will be turned back on for the evening of Monday, August 29th.
The downtown core has both decorative lights and cobra lights throughout. It has been suggested by some that there may be adequate lighting without all of the lights operating. The City has taken the step of testing that assertion by requesting Xcel temporarily turn off the cobra lights. Xcel has been conducting routine inspections of the streetlights and have turned off the lights temporarily as part of those inspections at no cost to the City.
The second consideration in this experiment is the cost of operating the streetlights. The taxpayers of Salida pay the utility bill through the City for all streetlights. If there is duplication or unnecessary streetlights, fiscal responsibility leads us to consider saving those dollars.
The third consideration to take into account is the amount of clutter on the downtown sidewalks. The sidewalks downtown are already crowded with bike racks, flower pots, sandwich boards, traffic signs as well as streetlights. The removal of any unnecessary streetlights would allow for additional space for pedestrians on the downtown sidewalks.
If the City Council determines that there is adequate lighting without the cobra lights, the City will continue to investigate the possibility of turning off the lights. Xcel has indicated that if the City asks for the lights to be permanently turned off that the cobra lights will be removed.
We encourage everyone to take a stroll through downtown and experience the lower level of lighting. Let the City know what you think by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 530-2620. You can also take a quick survey on the SalidaCitizen.com.