The newly formed Lockwood Pedestrian Safety District Advisory Board has identified priority sidewalk and lighting projects to make the community safer.
During a Yellowstone County commissioner meeting Tuesday, board members outlined their progress since winning voter approval in February to create a special taxing district to raise money for safety improvements.
The commission approved hiring an engineer to study the
costs and feasibility of the recommended projects before making decisions.
Nic Talmark, advisory board chairman, said the group has met multiple times with numerous professionals and organizations, like engineers, utilities, law enforcement agencies and planners, to address their concerns.
The advisory board also plans to apply for government grants and to seek matching money to help pay for projects.
Woody Woods, the advisory group’s co-chairman and manager of the Lockwood Water and Sewer District, said the group has identified three priority sidewalk projects.
The projects are U.S. Highway 87 East from the intersection with Old Hardin Road to Peter Street; Becraft Lane from Old Hardin Road to Westgate Drive; and Old Hardin Road from the Highway 87 intersection to Noblewood Drive.
The Old Hardin Road project, Woods said, probably would be done in phases because the road is so long.
Brandy Dangerfield, an advisory board member, said the committee is recommending installing eight “security lights” at bus stops as a short-term lighting improvement. The lights, she said, are “a project that could be done right away.”
High-pressure sodium lights would be installed on existing poles and would not cost the district a lot to operate, Dangerfield said.
A 100-watt light would cost about $8.26 a month and a 200-watt light would cost about $15.50 a month. The price includes all energy, operation and maintenance, she said.
County Finance Director Scott Turner said the district won’t collect its first tax revenues until the 2015 tax year, but that the county could loan the district money from its general fund for the security lighting and engineering study.
County commissioners approved the advisory board’s recommendations and praised the group’s efforts.
“I really like that idea,” Commissioner John Ostlund said, referring to the security lights.
“I think you guys have done a lot of work,” said Commissioner Bill Kennedy.