Community
July 4, 2020
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A lighter, brighter Cotati

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
November 30, 2018

As of this week Cotati is looking lighter and brighter with over thirty new, much needed lights installed throughout darker areas of town.

“It’s been something the city has wanted to do for a while and we finally managed to get it into the current adopted city budget,” says Craig Scott, Public Works Director and City Engineer for the City of Cotati. “We get input from the community, from the public and it’s been brought up for years at city council meetings and we are now finally able to do it.”

The new lights were installed at three different main sites throughout the community. One site is the West School Street tunnel that goes underneath Highway 101. A street light was added to each end of the tunnel and the lights that are inside of the tunnel have been retrofitted. La Plaza Park is sporting 15 new, decorative lights - two in the interior of the park, three on the east side of Redwood Highway and the rest following the path around the perimeter of the park.

“That’s been something we’ve seen for a while now, that we need to light up La Plaza Park, because it does get dark in the winter time, especially when the days are shorter and the nights are long,” says Scott. “There are some lights there, if you look at the trees. They’ve been there for a while and the trees have overgrown the conduit so they’re not adequate and we really needed to do something to light up the park.”

The third site is on McGinnis Circle and the pathway that connects to Marsh Way. No lights were there previously and now four lights along the pathway have been added, two street lights on another pathway to the bridge over Laguna de Santa Rosa, nine lights along the bridge and another light on the other side of the bridge.

“It is lighting those trails to connect up these neighborhoods,” says Scott.

All the lights except for three inside and near La Plaza Park will be controlled by photoelectric cells so the lights will automatically power on when it gets dark and automatically shut off when the sun comes up. The lights inside the park will be controllable with an overriding dimmer switch so the city can manually turn those off during the summer “movie in the park” events.

The work has been in process for several months, including ordering the light poles, pouring the concrete footings, running conduit and wires and coordinating with PG&E on finalizing connections. Cotati-based Mike Brown Electric Co. was contracted to do the electrical work.

“It’s something the community has looked forward to and supported for quite a while now,” says Scott. “It’s nice to be able to finally deliver on that.”