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Date of Issue: March 12, 2008

Brighter on Bridge Street, dimmer along the beach?

It should be a whole lot brighter on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach soon.

City commissioners last week agreed to up the ante on wattage of the lighting on the “downtown” street from 70 to 200. Additional cost is estimated to cost the city $2,000 per year, according to City Commissioner Janie Robertson.

There are either 9 or 11 poles and lights on the street, depending on how its counted.

Public works supervisor Tom Woodard said he would investigate the solar-power lighting and bring that information back to the commission as a means to reduce costs for the lighting expense.

Woodard added that the existing decorative lights on Bridge Street were pretty much extinct. Installed more than a decade ago, the green-shaded fixtures have been prone to problems pretty much from their inception and have been inoperative for years.

“They can’t be replaced,” Woodard said.

No action on the replacement was made by commissioners.

In other business, commissioners approved the merger of the Waterfront: Accessible, Viable, Ecological and Sustainable committee with the scenic highway committee with discussion.

In related business, the commission decided to foist a proposal of signage to the two/one committee regarding signage at the beaches and bays regarding plastic bags.

And Commissioner Bob Conners said that as liaison to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch, its director, Suzi Fox, suggested that a “lighting-monitor” person be employed to check for errant beachfront lights during turtle nesting season.

Female sea turtles come to shore to nest between May and October to lay eggs. Both the females and the hatchlings can become disoriented by lights from beachfront housing.