Last June, the Downtown Improvement District turned off the tree lights at Selby Five Points Park due to rising maintenance costs. On Friday, a new system will make its debut.
The new lights are currently being installed in 18 of the park’s 26 trees, illuminating the perimeter of the park. The Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association spearheaded the project after installing the same stringed white lighting system along the 1300, 1400 and 1500 blocks of Main Street.
The project is being funded by the Downtown Improvement District, which paid for a portion of the $81,000 lighting system installed in 2011. After maintenance costs and issues escalated, the DID voted to turn off the lights and search for a new system last summer.
A request for proposals produced a winning submission of a color-change LED system that would cost up to $136,000, but the DID balked at the price. The merchants group approached the DID in January to request funding for the white lights, which the DID ultimately agreed to. The cost of installing and maintaining the new system over the next year is $36,380.
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