MONTE VISTA — Early in the morning on April 20, 42 new light bulbs were installed on the 100 block of Adams Street. The project was part of the OptiMystics Citizen Action Network (CAN) revitalization and beautification efforts for Monte Vista.
SLV REC installed the lights for free, sending two machines and staff to install the new bulbs. It took them about an hour to complete. After it was complete, the City of Monte Vista Public Works Department took the opportunity to clean and sweep the street while it was closed for the light installation.
All the new lights are high-efficiency, dusk-to-dawn, LED lights. The lights are designed to turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn. The OptiMystics shared with Valley Publishing that the individual businesses will no longer need to remember to turn their lights on or set timers seasonally. They can leave the light switch on, and the lights will automatically turn on and off.
The OptiMystics also said that the estimated cost to each individual business was less than $4 per bulb, per year. This is much more affordable than the CFL bulbs that were replaced. The new LED lights should also last for many years before they need to be replaced.
“There was no installation or purchase cost to the individual businesses for the light bulbs or their replacement,” the OptiMysitcs said.
Funding for this project was made possible in part by the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce’s Swoop of the Cranes Art Project, generous donations to the OptiMystics CAN, the SLV Rural Electric Cooperative, and the City of Monte Vista Public Works Department.
When asked what the group hopes these new lights will do for the community they stated, “Getting the lighting working again on Adams Street is the first step in Phase One, in our revitalization of downtown Monte Vista efforts. Having the lights all on every evening, helps to create a warm and inviting scene in our downtown business district. The businesses will look open and the street inviting to folks driving by. Completing Phase One on Adams Street we hope to repair or replace all the awnings paint and repair the building facades and where needed, have new signage hanging above each business. The overall appeal of the street will increase dramatically, creating an inviting atmosphere for visitors and possible new businesses looking for a place. The increase in appeal and a full building occupancy translates into more potential shoppers, which directly impacts the sales tax revenue for the city.”
The OptiMystics said they have several other phases of revitalization in the planning stages. Progress on these projects depends on their ability to find funding through contributions, grants, and proceeds from events organized by the group. They say that their “pie in the sky” plan is to complete these phases with little to no cost to Monte Vista businesses. But they say it may be necessary moving forward to ask for the businesses to partner with them to make them happen.
The group does have an upcoming event for Cinco De Mayo planned on May 5. The OptiMystics invite anyone in the community and in surrounding communities to come celebrate the Hispanic culture in Monte Vista. Their goal is to raise funds to help continue their revitalization efforts and raise awareness of their group.