HAVERHILL — The city planned to have lights installed along downtown alleyways beginning last summer, but the project ran into a few snags.
Now one member of City Council wants to know why there has been such a delay and what can be done to move things along.
“I never anticipated there would be this much difficulty in making our community safer and more attractive,” Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien said. “I expected more cooperation from the building owners and know the mayor’s office has done everything they can to get this project done.”
At this week’s City Council meeting, the mayor’s chief of staff, David Van Dam, is expected to update the council on details about the project and how it will soon be moving forward.
He said the process of determining the exact locations of lighting required research by a lighting company (at no cost to the city) that conducted a “photometric” study of what kind of lights, how many, and what intensity were needed for the identified locations.
Van Dam said easement agreements were needed as well. He said City Solicitor William Cox created these agreements so that the owners of properties adjacent to alleyways would agree to work with the city and allow the installation of lights on their buildings to illuminate the alleyways.
“At this point we’re contracting with an electrician to start the work on one of the properties,” Van Dam said. “I’m waiting for easement agreements for the other properties. We’d like to have all of the lighting in by this summer.”
Van Dam said he expects the first set of lights to be installed within a few weeks and that the first installation is projected to be in an alleyway next to the Barking Dog Alehouse. He said the alleyway connects Wingate and Washington streets.