BIA to light up downtown

Following the positive response to the red rope lights which illuminated Scott Street during the Christmas season, the Business Improvement Area is looking to stick with the idea year-round.
Clear rope lights likely will be wrapped around 30 lights poles on the 100-300 blocks of Scott Street shortly.
“Everybody [on the board] approved the concept,” BIA chair Ted DeBenetti said Thursday. “Now, we want to look over the budget and figure out if it’s economically feasible.
“Initially, it’s going to cost quite a bit,” he admitted. “But we’re prepared to buy enough for all the poles, plus some extra in case there’s vandalism or theft.
“Or if they’re discontinued for whatever reason.”
DeBenetti said he hopes the public will like the idea after hearing good remarks about the red lights over the holidays.
“They added a lot of ambiance to the street. And with new businesses like Warp 9 open now, we’d like to encourage a nightlife atmosphere,” he said.
DeBenetti noted the lights will replace a traditional sight on Scott Street—the small flags hanging from the lamp posts during the tourist season.
He said the cost of repairing and replacing flags ultimately was not the best way to go.
The BIA also will put flower baskets along Scott Street in late spring, as well as continue to maintain the benches and trash bins now lining the sidewalks.
And the large banner flags still will flutter along Central Avenue from Church Street to First Street East, inviting tourists to the downtown area.
As far as what the BIA has in store for the year ahead, DeBenetti said, he didn’t want to say anything yet.
“But anything we’ll do, we’d like to involve other groups, like the Chamber of Commerce and the RRFDC to get more bang for our buck,” he added. “After all, we’re all working after the same thing.”