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WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — The Wilmington City Council directed staff members Monday to hire Musco Lighting of Iowa to change the lighting around the Kenan Memorial Fountain.

The company will charge between $50,000 and $60,000 to upgrade the lighting. For months, the city has been exploring hiring a firm to better illuminate the iconic fountain at Market Street and Fifth Avenue to protect it from being struck by cars.

In October, council members gathered at the fountain as Musco Lighting demonstrated how it would change the lights. The demonstration cost $5,000, but the fee will be knocked off Musco's final price, according to the city. The city also paid $500 for another lighting company's demonstration.

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Comment on this Story

  • guesty

    Since there is only one block on Carolina Beach Rd that is 35, I hope you don’t see anybody going that speed.

  • Simple

    It is simple, enforce the traffic laws and this wouldn’t happen. The Fountain has been there for years and when the laws were enforced there were few people running into it. That is the problem with so many wreck in the city. The Police Chief needs to put his officers back out there enforcing the traffic laws. Just ride down 3Rd street or Carolina Beach Rd around 7:40 am and see how many are driving 35.

  • Todd

    Lighting has nothing to do with idiots running into the fountain. And $50,000? I’m in the wrong business, should have become a lighting contractor so I could rip off the taxpayers….

  • Matthew Thomas

    Iowa huh? I hate to see that money leave out area. It’s a shame we couldn’t find a Wilmington or surrounding area business to do this work. Not even in the state of NC? Weird.

  • Josh

    Harry Potter aims his wand at city council and says, “riddikulus.” This is an asinine waste of money.

    The only problem with this fountain is the approach, not the lighting. The direction this fountain is hit from most always the approach from Market, not 5th street.

    Next time you are driving towards the fountain, look at the straightaway curb adjacent to the left lane. Look at the leaves on the roadway, they show a natural pattern that cars are following. The curbing on the left is perpendicular to the fountain, leading cars right into it. If the curb were to be gradually angled to set up the lane into the slight circular turn (look at the leaves..they show how cars are actually traveling) the need for lighting would be completely unnecessary.

    I wonder if they consulted a traffic engineer on the design approach into the circle?

  • Funny You Should mention it

    The company’s own web site says they are all about sports lighting. Nothing anywhere about roadway lighting. http://www.musco.com/aboutus/overview.html Seems that Wilmington should use someone that has documented experience with issues involving traffic safety, rather than a company who probably does a great job lighting fields. Just wait for the first accident after the gold plated lights are put in.

    Maybe they’ve figured out who they need to wine and dine, etc. Is there not a competitive bidding process in place?

  • taxpayer

    In the past 10 years, how many times has the fountain been hit, and at what cost to the taxpayers to repair. Keep in mind, the driver’s insurance company paid for repairs up to the limit(s) of their policy.

    So…what’s been the net cost to us for repairing the fountain?

    Personally, I think this entire “problem” is a manufactured problem so we aren’t looking at what Council and the Mayor are doing otherwise.

  • Krysten

    Give me the $50 K. I’ll go stand out there with a flashlight.

  • Guest-o-matic

    …serious guardrail with you as you stand there! The drunks just love hitting that fountain, lit or not.

  • Marina Gail Mendoza

    I feel that it is just a waste of money. There are more important things that need to be done. For the people who are running into the fountain they should not be driven.

  • 1234543

    in the year 2013 why would anybody put a fountain in the middle of a road???? this is no longer the horse and buggy days??? except at imes when I see who you people continue to elect.

  • Guest Reply Redux

    Quit your bitc*ing…you left them in office, did you not? You had your chance to rally them out…you sat by the way side.
    There’s not 1 ordeal you folks can complain about…from an expensive fountain light…to a possibility of another ball stadium. You left them in office…so celebrate what you accomplished at the polls…and enjoy the results!!! (As they are doing)
    Quit your complaining…or kick them out by legal process. You won’t do that either as long as there are Forums!

  • I Care Why

    I will put a big steel pole right in the front for 40000.

  • concerned

    And just think the employees are paid a poverty wage! Look at the council once again spending money they say they do not have!


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