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VALLEY FOCUS | Canoga Park

Funding OKd for New Sherman Way Lights

January 21, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

The City Council on Tuesday approved a $70,000 allocation to the Community Redevelopment Agency to improve wiring along Sherman Way for more pedestrian-friendly lighting.

However, the future of the lighting upgrade is still in question.

The lighting upgrade is one of many components of the $3.5-million, federally-funded Canoga Park Business Improvement Project, the largest element being the rebuilding of the Madrid Theater.

The lights are the "No. 1 priority" for area business owners, said project manager Leslie Lambert, but it is the property owners who will be asked to approve a lighting district to fund the ongoing costs.

If they do not support the district, the funds approved Tuesday will go back to the city's Bureau of Street Lighting and the lighting portion of the improvement project will not be implemented, Lambert said.

The funds would pay to improve the wiring along Sherman Way between Jordan and Canoga avenues to accommodate the new fixtures. That work would entail rerouting existing circuits, relocating transformers and replacing 200-watt lamps with 400-watt, mercury-vapor luminaries.

In addition to the wiring upgrade, Lambert said the redevelopment agency would pay to purchase the 32 light fixtures to be attached to existing street light poles and face onto sidewalks rather than onto the street for more pedestrian-friendly lighting. The cost of the fixtures is estimated at $150,000.

"The lights are a very important aspect of the [improvement] project," Lambert said. "People, for whatever reason real or otherwise, don't feel comfortable walking along [Sherman Way] in the evening. We hope this would give them a sense of comfort in doing that."

Property owners will soon receive ballots, to be returned by March 11, regarding the lighting district. If the district is approved, officials hope to begin the four-month installation process by early April.

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