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City councillors in mood for $1m mood lighting bill at North Adelaide

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Adelaide City Council will consider spending about $1 million on “atmospheric lighting” in North Adelaide – weeks after it revealed it was about to breach its debt ceiling.

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Elected members will on Tuesday night discuss artistic lighting in its 2020-21 budget to create an “attractive night-time experience” along Melbourne and O’Connell Streets.

The most expensive option – costed at $956,500 – involves installing lighting infrastructure on both streets.

Installing artistic lighting only on O’Connell Street is estimated to cost ratepayers $776,500, while investing only on Melbourne Street would cost $180,000.

Proposed designs include:

“Atmospheric lighting enlivens the public spaces by creating unique and memorable experiences,” a council report states.

“Done well, it enhances the character of the precinct through creative expression of light and is a key attractor for people at night.”

The suggested entry lights are a blast from the past – I had an aunt who had a lamp in her lounge room with a red shade just like those in the illustration

It comes after Town Hall staffers warned the council would exceed its own debt ceiling – currently set at $89.75 million – by the first half of next year.

The city council has proposed replicating the Sakura Lumina light display in Osaka, Japan for North Adelaide.

Area councillor Robert Simms, who called on the council to install artistic lighting in North Adelaide, told InDaily this morning the options presented by staff were “certainly more bigger picture” and “more costly” than he envisaged.

But he said the ideas were “really exciting and would really lift O’Connell Street and Melbourne Street in the same way Rundle Street has been activated through the use of atmospheric lighting”.

“I don’t think it’s going to be realistic spending so much money given all our other budget considerations, but I certainly hope we would be able to incorporate at least something,” he said.

“I have had a lot of feedback from businesses in the area and they told me that one of the issues they cade is trying to create a more vibrant and dynamic atmosphere on Melbourne and O’Connell Streets.

“I think these options could really do that.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Alexander Hyde also praised the designs as “lovely”, but he raised concerns about the lack of public consultation.

“I can’t justify spending $1 million when we haven’t asked people what they want or where they want it,” he said.

“Given we are about to approach our debt ceiling we need to be really frugal in how we spend our budget – especially when we’ve just undertaken a huge $28 million project with the Central Market Arcade.

“I just don’t want us to spend a bucket load of money and then have to change that or rip it all up because we haven’t got a proper masterplan in place yet.”

A proposed illuminated bench for North Adelaide. Photo: Escofet

But north ward councillors Phil Martin and Mary Couros were supportive of the council choosing the $956,500 option.

“Lighting has been needed in North Adelaide for a very long time – it’s something that the traders have been asking for, especially on Melbourne and O’Connell Street,” Couros said.

Martin added: “Council talking about investing money in the main streets of North Adelaide is both novel and welcome.

“The suggested entry lights are a blast from the past – I had an aunt who had a lamp in her lounge room with a red shade just like those in the illustration.

“She would have loved this.”

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