No new lights, yet

SAN BENITO – Residents and leaders are ready to see new, fancy, decorative lights around town, specifically along Sam Houston.

According to city mayor Celeste Sanchez, it’s something that should have been done at least seven years ago.

But, they’ll have to wait a little while longer as city officials determine expenditure priorities during the upcoming budget process.

Officials will have to determine what areas and how much money to spend on each one. The main improvements mentioned include the lighting, skate park, swimming pool, splash pad and more.

On Tuesday, officials spoke briefly about the lighting, mainly the most recent cost estimates for each of the three phases of that plan.

According to AEP, stage one will consist of 23 lights spaced between Adele and Batts and cost $94,000; stage two consists of 28 lights between the railroad tracks and Brooks for $117,000; and stage three consists of lights around what is to be the new museum on Heywood at a cost of $53,000.

The city had allocated a little more than $400,000 for the entire lighting project. However, it has been suggested it could cost more than that and not be completed until next year.

Late last month, city officials agreed to pursue stages one and three as the most important parts of the project.

City manager Manuel De La Rosa suggested Tuesday the city table the decision on the lights in order to decide how to fund the projects.

There is money available, however, there are other projects that need attention in the city.

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