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Temporary lights at Cole Park bother nearby residents

Temporary lights at Cole Park bother nearby residents
Posted at 8:35 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 23:39:34-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The new Cole Park Pier is drawing in residents and tourists alike, but the temporary lights that the city set up to illuminate the parking lot and nearby skatepark are drawing the ire of some people who live across the street from the park.

“I’ve had to buy blackout curtains, because of this particular light shining from Cole Park," said Joan Wolfe whose home is two blocks away.

"The temporary lights that have been put up in the park are, frankly, blinding as you're driving down Ocean Drive," Marie Adams, another nearby resident, said.

In addition to having to deal with the brightness at their homes, Wolfe and Adams are also concerned about the lights' contribution to overall light pollution in Corpus Christi.

The city originally had seven portable light stands set up in the park for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new pier last month. That number was quickly cut to five and recently to three.

Once new, permanent lights are able to go online, the city will remove the remaining temporary lights.

A city leader says the problem is a common one for lots of businesses and entities right now — delays in supply chains because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.

Interim Parks and Recreation Director Dante Gonzalez says it will likely be the middle of next month before a power company can get those new lights on.

"We are working towards that, and we’re working with AEP, so they can give us a better timeline," he said.

Gonzalez says the temporary lights have had an impact on a particular type of crime seen near the park soon after the pier opened.

“It is helping us deter some of the vandalism and trying to prevent that from happening again," he said.

Still, removal of the temporary lights can't get here fast enough for park neighbors.

“It does shine basically in through our windows," Wolfe said. "It really carries a long way."

“Of course we need to have lighting," Adams said. "But we need to do it in a responsible way that will benefit everybody."