Latrobe’s update of its downtown streetlights got a major boost this week with the announcement that the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation is increasing its grant of more than $73,000 for the project by $180,000.
Another $18,333 pledged by the city will help cover most of the estimated cost of $275,000, allowing work to move forward next year, according to Jarod Trunzo, executive director of the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program.
Latrobe Mayor Rosie Wolford told council the update — swapping out cobra-style overhead streetlights for decorative street lamps — may begin in the spring. She thanked Linda Boxx, who chairs the foundation, for the additional funds.
Trunzo said the increased grant will allow the city to install about 70 of the street lamps, matching ones included in PennDOT’s rehabilitation of the Lloyd Avenue bridge over Loyalhanna Creek.
The decorative lighting is “a very important factor if you want to attract business to your downtown,” Wolford said. “It changes the whole look of your downtown.”
The new lamps will have LED bulbs, replacing metal halide versions and cutting operational costs by two-thirds, Trunzo has noted.
He said the lighting project will dovetail nicely with a $2.2 million, federally funded project that is expected to update traffic lights and handicapped-accessible curb cuts downtown beginning in 2019.
Regarding the Lloyd Avenue bridge, Wolford said PennDOT officials indicated they may shut down traffic in the upstream lane of the two-lane span beginning as early as March 5, weather permitting,
Crews completed most of the work on the downstream lane before opening both lanes to traffic for the winter months.
June 11 is PennDOT’s latest target for completing work on the bridge, Wolford said, noting, “It will be done when it’s done.”
Council approved a final 2018 budget of nearly $5.6 million while holding real estate millage at 21.3 for general purposes and 0.2 for funding of Latrobe’s Adams Memorial Library.
Downtown parking will be free Wednesday through Dec. 31.