Staunton, Virginia. February 29, 2012 – The Staunton Downtown Development Association was recently awarded a Main Street Improvement grant valued at $25,000 to fund the upgrade of Downtown Service District streetscape lighting in The Wharf, Staunton Station and Middlebrook Avenue areas.
Greg Beam, SDDA Board President remarked on the grant award: “Receiving this grant significantly increases our ability to continue a number of Design, Economic Development and Promotions projects that have been in the works for years. The new lighting will make the targeted areas more inviting for evening business and better connect the many unique areas within our Downtown Service District.”
Virginia Main Street Downtown Improvement Grants of up to $25,000 per designated community were made available for special, one-time projects. The grant opportunity is designed to offer communities the ability to complete a Main Street-related project for which financial resources are not otherwise available. Grant criteria included economic, measurable impact or deliverables, committee or volunteer project leadership/involvement, leveraging of other fund sources, local government involvement/support and short duration of project.
There are 42 fixtures in the target areas that were installed a part of the Downtown Streetscape Plan in the 1980’s. Currently, existing fixtures emit 3,200 lumens from 42 watt compact fluorescents. Much of that light is lost up into the sky and does not illuminate sidewalks. The Main Street grant will fund new luminaries with 70 watt metal halide lights that emit 5,500 lumens directed toward the walkways. The new lights will use less energy and satisfy the dark sky initiative. It is estimated that this will increase the light level on the walkways by 3 to 4 times.
This upgrade will be completed through the leveraging of a strong partnership between the Staunton Downtown Development Association, the City of Staunton and the Public Work Department. “Thanks to the hard work of Julie Markowitz, downtown Staunton will be look brighter at night, and continues to get better,” said Tom Sliwoski, Director of Public Works.
The SDDA’s Design, Promotions and Economic Development Committees will be involved in the project development as well as businesses in the affected areas.
“The additional funding will drastically improve the lighting in the Wharf and the Train Station creating better connection for those businesses and driving evening traffic to their doors,” said Julie Markowitz, Executive Director of the SDDA. “The upgraded lighting will look similar to the new lighting installed on Churchville Avenue and be a vast improvement in visibility for those businesses.”