$2.1 million for new street lights in Osceola County

The purple, decorative light poles on U.S. 192 leading up to the attractions may soon be a thing of the past.

Osceola County is looking to spend more than $2.1 million to replace the poles with modern, slim, black poles. 

The money, however, is not coming from average taxpayers, it’s coming out a special fund.

“None of the revenue that is generated here comes from the residents, it actually comes from commercial properties,” said Hector Lizasuain, West 129 Development Board member.

Revenue from businesses along the corridor go into the fund, which is then used to improve the busy stretch.

“You can’t spend it anywhere else. It’s a restricted fund, and the money that is generated here stays in this area,” Lizasuain said.

But are the lights worth the investment? 

Lizasuain says the new light poles will save the county money in the long run.

“It’s going to be a lot easier from a maintenance, replacement standpoint, plus, the LEDs that are going to be in the new lights will lower the utility significantly,” Lizasuain said.

In fact, the new technology could cut costs by 20 percent annually. 

Future plans include modernizing the look of the entire corridor, updating signs and the bus stops. 

Lizasuain says it’s a change some are happy about, but others will miss the colorful look.

“People always said, ‘what were you thinking painting those street lights purple?’ But there are plenty of people that really liked it, such as myself. I thought it added character to the area, and it gave it its own sense of place,” he said.

The change will have to go to county commissioners for approval.