JENNINGS — The Jennings City Council took the first step Tuesday to improve the lighting at the interstate exits within the city limits.
The council unanimously adopted a resolution to enter into an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development obligating the city to pay 10 percent of the construction cost and assume all legal liability for and all maintenance and operating costs of the lighting system.
"This resolution will allow the mayor's office and myself to enter into agreements with DOTD and assume all the responsibility and liability for the I-10 lighting," Mayor Henry Guinn said.
The lights at the entrances and exits to the city are currently inadequate and outdated, he said.
"As we all know the lighting is very dated," he said. "One section was put in in the 1970s and another section put in in the ‘80s. We work continuously to update those lights."
Because of the age of the lighting system the city will be able to acquire federal grant money with a 90 percent match to complete the project, he said. The lights would be replaced with an all new LED lighting system from the ground up.
The city can afford the 10 percent cost, which he estimates at $100,000 for a $1 million project, he said.
"We are willing to assume 100 percent of the cost of the project because it is now in the city limits, but it was not in the city limits before," he said, referring to a previous joint service agreement with the Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury and DOTD to maintain the lights.
The council's unanimous vote for the resolution demonstrates their support for the project, he said.
"The council thinks it is something necessary for the city and for the parish and because of that we don't mind paying 100 percent of the 10 percent match," he said.
Guinn is requesting that the new lighting system begin at the entrance of the city limits and end at the end of the city limits.
The city hopes to secure the grant within the next six months.