Hamilton’s Main Street corridor will have a brighter future — literally — beginning next year, City Manager Joshua Smith recently announced during city budget discussions.
New light fixtures in the design of an old-fashioned streetlight will feature not only traditional illumination lamps for the street, but also, lower on each pole, closer to the sidewalk, a pair of lamps that will cast a glow for pedestrians.
Smith said the light fixtures will be installed from the intersection of Main and B streets west to the intersection of Main Street with Millville and Eaton avenues.
“It’s my expectation that as we continue planning with Spooky Nook (Sports at Champion Mill), this is the streetlight fixture you’ll see going to the north also, along B Street, to tie that area together,” Smith said.
City officials envision that area of Main Street not only becoming an entertainment district that serves visiting athletes and their families who attend sports tournaments and training at the mega-indoor-sports-complex that is to be Spooky Nook.
Dan Bates,president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said the attractive fixtures will be as functional as they are good-looking.
“It’s going to increase the aesthetics of Main Street, but it’s much more than that because the lights are designed to illuminate for pedestrian traffic,” Bates said. “The idea is to make people feel more encouraged to walk down Main Street — better illumination, make people feel safer. It’s really to help commerce and really help people into the stores, where people feel comfortable walking down through there after dark.”
The cost is estimated to be $900,000, to come from Hamilton’s electric funds. That’s part of just under $2.8 million Hamilton plans to spend on Main Street renovations during 2018.
Brian LeVick, owner of Future Great Comics, which opened its Main Street store in October of 2016, is pleased improved lighting is on the way.
“There’s so many just really great shops around here, so it kind of, in a sense, brings light to the different shops in the area, which I really like,” LeVick said. “So, I dig it. I like the design, and anything that makes people feel safer and lights up the businesses on Main Street, I’m all for.”
After Main Street work, the city plans to focus on corridors in Hamilton’s Second Ward and Lindenwald.
“I think things are looking up for Main Street, which is great,” he said. “We’re only moving forward. I don’t see any moving backward.”