Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

July 9, 2012

New lights to illuminate skyline

CENTERVILLE — Starting in about a month, volunteers will install new lights that will outline the tops of buildings around the square and extend back 100 feet on each of the four main entrances on Main Street and State Street.

The project is under the aegis of Grow Centerville, said Grow Centerville Program Manager Jennifer Appler. The organization works on downtown development, entrepreneurship and housing and is also working to make Centerville a Main Street community again.

Appler said she thinks improvements such as these lights will strengthen the town’s application to the Main Street program this fall.  

These lights, which will be in use year-round, will replace the previous lights, which were used during the holiday season and hung across the fronts of the buildings.

When Appler was hired in January, one of her first tasks was to go around to all the building owners on the square and discuss the lights project with them.

One of the downsides to the old lights, Appler said, was that building owners were responsible for turning them on and off and replacing bulbs when they burned out. The new lights will be scheduled to turn on each night at the same time as the streetlights, she said.

Another downside was that changing the previous bulbs required lifts or extension ladders, whereas these lights will be serviced from the rooftops in most cases.  

“It creates ambiance and unity around the square, as well as taking a little bit of responsibility off the building and business owners,” Appler said.

Michael Browns, owner of Photography by the Browns on the square, said he was enthusiastic about the project from the moment he heard about it.

“Jennifer came and approached me, and she hardly had gotten into her presentation and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll support it,’” he said. “I believe the price is fair to the businesses and it’s a positive thing.”

He said he thinks this will be an improvement over the old lights.

“I like the idea of replacing the old lights, which are in terrible condition, [and] I like the idea that I don’t have to stop and think about turning the lights on; it will all be automatic,” he said.

Jonathan Hart, who founded CornerHart Electric in 2010, volunteered to install the lights.

“Being raised in Centerville and planning on living here the rest of my life, it’s important to be an asset to the community that I belong in,” he said.

Hart will remove the old lights that still remain, install a composite board along the tops of the buildings and mount the lights to the board.

The use of composite board running along the tops of the buildings means holes will not be drilled into the buildings as before, Appler said.

Hart said the general life expectancy of these LED lights is 50,000 hours, as opposed to 2,000 to 3,000 hours for the incandescent bulbs that were used in the last light project.

“Electric usage will be dramatically less than an incandescent bulb, which is a big advantage also,” he said.

One business in each of the eight sections of the square has volunteered the use of its metering equipment, he said.

Attorney Mike Craver is donating his services to draw up contracts between building owners and the city to make sure everyone is fairly charged for the electricity, Appler said.

Jim Meng, who died in 1991, originally brought the idea for holiday lights to the Chamber of Commerce after he visited the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City during the holidays and saw similar lights there.

After the money was raised volunteers used fire department ladder trucks to put up the lights in the late 1980s, said Kris Koestner of J&K Market, who was one of the those volunteers.

“They were red, the same as the Plaza, and they were always turned on on Thanksgiving Eve here in hopes to bring people up for shopping on the square,” Koestner said.

Business owners paid for the original bulbs, Koestner said, and later the Chamber sold them replacement bulbs at cost as needed.

Later the Chamber of Commerce changed the bulbs from red to clear because when the bulbs faded they gave off a pinkish color, according to Joyce Bieber, executive director of the Centerville–Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

Koestner said he still turns the lights on at J&K during the holidays, but he is looking forward to the new lights.

“It’s time for a change,” he said. “The new LED lighting is a lot more efficient. I think it would be a good thing for the square.”

The cost of the lights and materials is being paid for by the building owners and through private donations.

Appler said the costs are not finalized but will include a one-time cost to building owners of about $10 a linear foot and about $40 a year in electricity after that. She said Grow Centerville wants to make every effort to work with building owners, so some of the private funds that have been raised will be used on buildings whose owners cannot afford the lights.

 “We are willing to work with every business and building owner on the square regarding payment plans,” she said. “No one will be excluded from this project simply because they cannot afford to pay for everything in full at this time.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston

    A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.

    July 29, 2014

  • Three year old case ends in prison term suspended A 36-year-old Moulton man was sentenced to state prison suspended to probation in the Appanoose County Courthouse July 18.Donnie D. Vanderlinden Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison, all but 30 days suspended, to five years probation to the Eigh

    July 29, 2014

  • Mercy receives Award Mercy Medical Center — Centerville received a 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Award from Gov. Terry E. Branstad during a special recognition ceremony held June 20 in Ottumwa.The hospital was honored with a length of service award by the Iowa Senior Health

    July 29, 2014

  • County attorney requests an assistant

    Monday morning the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors in the Courthouse boardroom moved to table a request from Appanoose County Attorney Susan C. Daniels to hire an assistant county attorney and amend her budget by $38,833.60 to cover the cost.

    July 28, 2014

  • 072514 CCC Meeting Photo Delay in street paving project Nancy Huisman, with Hall Engineering, Monday delivered to the Centerville City Council an update on the East and West State streets and North 10th Street paving project.Huisman recommended the city delay the project until the spring of 2015.The new t

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 23, 2014

  • Appanoose County Farm Bureau annual meeting President Mark McGill welcomed 85 members and guests to the annual meeting of the Appanoose County Farm Bureau on Tuesday, July 15 at the Faith United Methodist Church, south of Centerville. Guest speaker Walt Hackney, who writes DTN’s “Talkin’ Lives

    July 23, 2014

  • School board reviews legislative priorities The Centerville School Board met for a regular meeting Monday, July 14, welcoming new member Steve Hoch, who replaced Tom Lange after his resignation.High School band director Jim DePrizio approached the board to see if the Band Boosters could receiv

    July 22, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 23,1920-1926: For some people, the changing role of women in this time, was leading to the breakdown of the family. The "Divorce Rate Is Appalling," said one headline. It was the KKK Southern Iowa America

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 Medics Skills Photo Local medics advance skills Recently, six EMT’s from Mercy Medical Center advanced their credentials and skill levels to become paramedics.Dan Howington, Brenda Howington, Jeff Devoll, Katy Devoll, Andy Mericle and Jerilyn Inman invested their time over the last 18 months to ob

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved. July 22, 1945: Exline’s L. Jay Johnson, who opened a funeral home on East Maple Street on his return to Centerville from World War 2, survived the U.S. 8th AAF. He won a “Lucky Bastard” award from his fellow airmen on completion of 25 dangerous missi

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 AC Fair Photo1 Antique tractor display The Lapland Plowboys Antique Tractor Club will be displaying a large selection of antique tractors Monday through Friday at the Appanoose County Fair.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fire protection score improves CENTERVILLE – The Centerville Fire Department recently received word that the community’s rating on Insurance Services Office’s Public Protection Classification survey had improved.The survey in question analyzes the fire suppression services in a co

    July 22, 2014

  • Humble Heroes Foundationhelps soldiers' children CENTERVILLE — Justin Zaputil remembers when Master Sgt. Travis Riddick died. The common reactions didn’t feel right.Mourning and then moving on left something undone. It didn’t seem to accomplish what Zaputil and a handful of others wanted. It didn’t

    July 22, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 20, 1942-5: As the country geared itself into second World War production, vital raw materials were critically short. Collections of metals, rubber, greases, nylons and silks, paper and rags, even milkwee

    July 21, 2014

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook