At the regular meeting of July 20, 2023, the Cape Charles Town Council authorized the award of the construction contract for Phase 3 of the Community Trail to Conrad Brothers of Virginia for $759,567.19. This work includes the Peach Street portion of the trail, which is already underway. The lighting work was pulled out of the original bid–the town felt it could save close to $30k by doing the work themselves.
A quote of $30,555 for the light poles and fixtures (4 singles and 3 doubles) from Spring City Electrical Manufacturing Company was accepted by the Town Council at last Thursday’s Regular Meeting.
An angry Councilwoman Tammy Holloway accused the staff and the rest of the Town Council of being dishonest in the handling of the lighting project. At the July meeting, Holloway says she was under the impression that the town could control how many lights were going to be placed in the residential section of Peach Street. Peach Street residents feel the lighting design is overkill, and due to the massive increase in luminosity, they will no longer be able to see the stars from the vantage point of their abodes. The residents were also under the impression that they had control over how many lights would be placed in front of their homes.
This is not the case.
Here goes gravity, and now it’s back to reality. VDOT accepted the design, and part of the design is based on the minimal light requirements. Town Manager Hozey questioned the validity of Holloway’s angst, noting that the design and engineering had been in place for some time and that she should have been aware of the lighting long before it made it onto the agenda. He also noted that if Town Council did not approve the lighting contract, the entire project would stop, and they would have to go back and redo the entire process. This would push construction into the middle of tourist season.
Despite Holloway’s objections, she voted in favor. The motion passed 4-0.