New retro-style street lamps to grace Jewett City's Main Street
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Jewett City - posted Mon., Jul. 15, 2013
Longtime Griswold residents of a certain age may do a double-take after 44 new street lights are installed in downtown Jewett City later this year. The vintage-style lights were chosen to imitate the old street lights that once lined Main Street, said First Selectman Philip Anthony. “They’re similar to the originals, the LD gas lights that were there many, many years ago,” he said. “But of course [the new ones] are going to be digital LED lights.”
The new lights are the next phase in a downtown Jewett City revitalization plan, which took its first steps last year with the installation of benches, planters and trash containers on Main Street. This next phase will be funded by a $265,000 grant from the state’s Main Street Investment Fund (MSIF).
Griswold was among 14 towns to receive a slice of the $4,973,865 MSIF pie this year. Anthony credited state Rep. Steve Mikutel (D-45), who also serves on the board of selectmen, with helping secure the funds, along with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Office of Policy and Management’s selection committee.
Mikutel said that the new lighting was “another step in creating a vibrant downtown community” and part of a “well-thought-out downtown revitalization plan.”
Representatives from Kent + Frost, the project’s landscape architectural firm, have said that along with the visual appeal, the lowered lighting will be more pedestrian-friendly, lighting the sidewalks more effectively than the old, higher street lamps. Anthony said that the grant will likely have funds left over after the lamps and their installation have been paid for. “Any additional funds from this grant will be applied to the next priority” in the project, he said. “We will be careful about spending the remainder.”
Other plans for the project include welcoming signage and banners on the approaches to Main Street and reconfiguring of the town hall grounds, moving much of the parking to the building’s rear and creating a landscaped park-like “green” with seating and an information kiosk. Town officials have also discussed reconfiguring sidewalks to encourage pedestrian and bike traffic over vehicular traffic. “This is an ongoing… 10-year plan,” said Anthony.