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Downtown Willmar getting brighter with installation of new streetlights

The installation of new streetlights continues in downtown Willmar on Wednesday.

Dylan Berg of Willmar Municipal Utilities assists in installing new street lights along 6th Street SW in downtown Willmar on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Dylan Berg of Willmar Municipal Utilities assists in installing new streetlights along Sixth Street Southwest in downtown Willmar on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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Editor's note: The photo captions with this story have been updated since original publication to correct the names of the workers. Incorrect information was provided to the West Central Tribune about the name of worker Dylan Berg, and a spelling error was made in the name of Jordan Stulen in the original post.

WILLMAR — Downtown Willmar is getting brighter as crews work this week to install new streetlights as part of the city's streetscape project.

Willmar Municipal Utilities workers Jordan Stulan, below, and Zach Larson, above, work to install new street lights along 6th Street SW in downtown Willmar on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Willmar Municipal Utilities workers Jordan Stulen, below, and Dylan Berg, above, work to install new streetlights along Sixth Street Southwest in downtown Willmar on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

The streetlights being installed are more decorative than the lights they are replacing, which were installed in the 1980s. The city and Willmar Municipal Utilities are working together to fund the project, which has been in the works for several years.

More about lighting in downtown Willmar:
The Willmar City Council approved a plan to finance the replacement of all the downtown Willmar streetlights. Willmar Municipal Utilities will purchase the lights this year and the city will pay the utilities back a portion of the costs.
Planning work continues on the downtown Willmar streetscape project, which will bring pedestrian and aesthetic upgrades to the intersection of Fourth Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest. New streetlights are also on the way, with four examples already up along a section of Fourth Street in front of the Barn Theatre.
WILLMAR - The street and sidewalk lights in downtown Willmar, installed in the early 1980s, are starting to show their age. Parts to keep them operating are hard to find and the equipment itself can not be upgraded to the more efficient LED fixtures.

The city received a Small Cities Development grant in 2019, and is using $400,000 from the grant to fund the streetlights project, as well as a beautification project at Fourth Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest.

The utilities are also working to replace all the bulbs in the streetlights across the city with LED bulbs, and hopes to finish the project in 2022. As of March, there was a 36% reduction in the energy used to power the streetlights, which is enough to power 108 homes for an entire year.

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Zach Larson of Willmar Municipal Utilities prepares to attach a street light globe to a post along 6th Street SW as workers install new street lights in downtown Willmar on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Dylan Berg of Willmar Municipal Utilities prepares to attach a streetlight globe to a post along Sixth Street Southwest as workers install new street lights in downtown Willmar on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
Zach Larson puts the finishing touches on the installation of a new street light along 6th Street SW on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Dylan Berg puts the finishing touches on the installation of a new streetlight along Sixth Street Southwest in Willmar on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Jennifer Kotila is a reporter for West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minnesota. She focuses on local government, specifically the City of Willmar, and business.

She can be reached via email at: jkotila@wctrib.com or phone at 320-214-4339.
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