SHARECOMMENTMORE

SMYRNA, Ga. -- Some taxpayers in Smyrna are calling the addition of $754,094 worth of lights to Atlanta Road "excessive," while city leaders counter it's all in the name of pedestrian safety.

Using a combination of federal and local tax dollars, the city installed 161 lights along .8 of a mile through the heart of the city. The project involves a combination of street lights, pedestrian lights, and smaller "bollard" lights to illuminate intersections.

Taxpayer Eric Fernald says it's too much.

"I live over two miles away, and I can see how bright it is," said Fernald. "It looks like a football field. We're the only city you can see from orbit."

City plans show the street and pedestrian lights are spaced 40 feet apart. There are a total of 37 bollard lights at intersections along the route.

City councilwoman Terri Anulewicz says it has already helped increase safety for the people who walk Atlanta Road.

"When you're driving along, it can seem like a lot," said Anulewicz. "When you're walking along, it's a great amenity. I don't think it's excessive."

On the city's Facebook page, one taxpayer called it "tacky." Another referred to the lights as "overkill."

Part of the three-quarter-of-a-million dollar price tag was covered by a federal grant. The city also used money from a Special Local Option Sales Tax.

City Administrator Eric Taylor says the federal grant came with guidelines the city had to follow.

"We had to comply with federal and GDOT standards for urban design areas," said Taylor.

The city could not say how much it will cost to operate and maintain the lights.

SHARECOMMENTMORE