El Cajon Boulevard Maintenance Assessment District is teaming up with the North Park Maintenance Assessment District to spruce up the stretch of El Cajon Boulevard between the 805 and 54th Street.
As part of the El Cajon Commercial Revitalization Project, the two neighboring maintenance assessment districts are looking to purchase 94 ornamental, pear-shaped, double-acorn streetlights, installing four poles on each block. The new lighting is intended to beautify the boulevard and enhance surveillance and cut down on crime.
According to a 2002 city dispatch, ornamental lighting in high-crime areas "provides the communities with a greater sense of security and assists in deterring people from engaging in illegal activity. Decorative lighting also assists in enhancing the aesthetic features in high-crime areas, which directly supports stabilization of these fragile areas..."
Despite their benefits, the city does not shell out money for ornamental lights nor does it pay for upkeep. City officials consider the lights to be an "extraordinary benefit" and not part of basic infrastructure. For that reason, maintenance assessment districts are asked to pick up the tab. And, in this case, it is a substantial tab to pick up.
The estimated cost for the streetlights, including design, administration costs, installation, and other related costs, according to a September 7 preliminary estimate from city staff, is $1,517,800 for all 94 street lamps, or $16,147 per light.
Using the city's math, subtract the additional fees and the total for each light is $10,500.
But that number, says San Diego redevelopment project manager Michael Lengyel, is just an early estimate. "The project would not go out to bid until it is designed. I believe the estimate per light includes the direct wiring. The cost per light includes trenching, wiring, and installation, which is much more than the actual cost per pole."
The item will be heard at the Monday's monthly meeting of the North Park Maintenance Assessment District at 2719 Howard Avenue at 6 p.m.