A long wait for the lights to go up is coming to an end in the North Shore's business district.
City borrowing of $2.4 million to upgrade North Kamloops street lighting has cleared the alternative approval process - routine for larger capital expenditures - without encountering any public objection. Council is expected to give its final OK to the borrowing bylaw on Tuesday.
"That means we can go and spend the money," Coun. Pat Wallace said Saturday.
No resistance was expected to borrowing for the work, which will enhance street lighting along a 1.8-kilometre stretch of Tranquille Road from Leigh Road to Sydney Avenue.
"We've not heard of a petition and they've lost the timeline now," said Wallace. "Anybody in their right mind would never oppose putting lights there."
New lights, along with Library Square Residences and the $8-million North Shore Health Science Centre development at Tranquille and Wood, are expected to contribute to a safer, thriving neighbourhood.
Pharmacist Missagh Manshadi owns the centre now approaching completion. He hopes council will further invest in Tranquille and continue to improve the landscape, he said.
"It adds beauty to our city," said Manshadi.
Minos Restaurant owner George Georgiou said the news is "absolutely good" for the North Shore.
He said people are afraid to visit the neighbourhood at night because of how dark it is. Even his business, which is well established, slows down after sunset because residents are afraid of crime or being hit by a vehicle while crossing the street.
"Everybody is scared of the darkness. It's the stigma of the North Shore over the last 20 years," said Georgious.
With improved lighting and continued investment, Georgious believes the North Shore's fortune will change.
"We're going to be the best," he said.
Wallace's fellow councillor, Marg Spina, said the upgrades are overdue.
"This is an area of town that needs good lighting. They've been waiting a very long time," she said.
In October, council voted unanimously to fast track the project. The lighting upgrades will include the signals where Tranquille intersects with Wood, Poplar and Yew streets. Design work was slated for completion in late 2012 and tenders for construction sought early this year.
Peter Mutrie, the former manager of the North Business Improvement Association, is thrilled the project met with no opposition.
"During my tenure with the BIA, it was one of our prime focal points," he said. "It was a piece of rejuvenating the strip and bringing it into the modern age."
Had 10 per cent of the voting public - 6,732 people - signed a counter petition, the matter would have gone to referendum. No such petition surfaced by the Jan. 28 deadline.
© Kamloops Daily News