Melissa Wheeler, Farm Bureau

The North Bend Eagle


City to add decorative lighting downtown

by Nathan Arneal
Published 2/24/21

The North Bend City Council committed to installing antique style decorative lighting on the two downtown blocks of Main Street at its Feb. 16 meeting.
Todd McLochlin, a utilities manager with OPPD, attended the meeting to explain the city’s options.

Acorn light
Acorn light

The council focused on acorn style lights on 16-foot poles, a setup similar to the original street lights in North Bend decades ago.

These lights would replace the 25-foot steel poles now on Main Street and eliminate the wires currently suspended in the air running between the light poles.

The new decorative poles would not cost the city any money up front but would be paid for through a slight increase in the monthly fee the city pays to OPPD. The standard steel light poles cost $17.26 per month. The decorative pole the city is looking at costs between $19 and $22 a month, depending on optional features chosen. The decorative poles would also require more poles per block to achieve the same amount of light.

Any maintenance or repairs on the lights are included in the OPPD rates.
The lighting project will coincide with the Nebraska Department of Transportation’s highway project scheduled for 2022 and 2023 between the Platte River bridge and the new Highway 30 expressway intersection north of town. The project includes removal and reconstruction of Main Street through North Bend, including the curb and a portion of the adjacent sidewalk in downtown.

This will save the city “quite a bit” on the boring and repaving costs that usually go along with such a lighting project, McLochlin said.

The city council also asked McLochlin to study placing the decorative lighting on the two blocks of Seventh Street on either side of Main Street. This would put the lighting throughout the downtown business district.

There are still a few choices the city has to make in the future, such as the type of base on the poles and the Seventh Street lighting, but NDoT wanted the city to be on record at this time with its desire to add the decorative lighting so it can incorporate the lights into its highway construction project design.

The motion to commit to replacing the downtown lighting during the Highway 79 reconstruction passed 4-0.

In other city council business:

• The council approved Arlie’s Bar as a keno location.

• The council voted to install no parking signs on the south side of East 10th Street between Boxelder and Hickory streets. The resolution said that, “this area is a concern for large vehicles used for snow removal and fire and rescue to have access to that area of the city.”

• Councilman Alex Legge gave an update on the updates to the city auditorium restrooms. He said he has talked to the engineer about redesigning the layout of the restrooms. Because the restrooms were originally locker rooms with showers, there is now a lot of unused space with the toilets, especially in the men’s, crammed into one corner of the room. He is also looking into hand washing stations for the restrooms.

Legge also suggested looking into expanding the auditorium to the north sometime in the future.

• Councilman Ken Streff reported city emergency manager Waylon Fisher told him that free sandbags the city gets are only supposed to be used on government buildings. This came as a surprise to the city, who let the public use its sandbags for free during the 2019 flood.


<<Back to the front page