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Coquitlam eyes The Heights in Burnaby for a similar year-round light show on Brunette

At least one Coquitlam city councillor wants the seasonal bulbs to stay on all year in Maillardville.
The seasonal street lights along Brunette Avenue in Coquitlam, along with the inaugural festive lights at Mackin Park.

The seasonal lights at Coquitlam Town Centre Park will soon come down.

But at least one city councillor says he wants the bulbs to stay on in a neighbourhood across town: Maillardville.

On Monday (Jan. 17), Coun. Dennis Marsden called on council to back his bid for the temporary street lighting to continue on Brunette Avenue.

Marsden said he’s heard from many Maillardville business leaders and residents who want the street lights to be made permanent like in The Heights in North Burnaby.

“It just brightens [the area] up,” Marsden told council-in-committee this week. “It makes it more welcoming. It feels more safe, more walkable.”

Coun. Craig Hodge said he’s heard positive comments, too, about the Brunette brilliance — a recommendation that the now-defunct Maillardville Commercial and Cultural Revitalization Advisory Committee had asked for years ago.

And he suggested that if the Brunette street lights were to stay up year-round then the city also consider expanding the initiative to the Maillardville clock tower, as well as the archway.

“It’s one of the gateways into our community,” Hodge said.

But Coun. Brent Asmundson, who in 2020 requested that seasonal lights also be added to Pinetree Way and Austin Avenue as part of a subdued Lights at Lafarge during the pandemic, said he’s not sold at having the light shows all year.

“To me, I wonder by having it all year-round if you lose the uniqueness of the seasonal light display and the impact it has,” Asmundson questioned.

A staff report is due to come before council this month, outlining if the Brunette lights can be a permanent fixture — by changing the seasonal bulbs to white — in the city’s upcoming Streetscape Enhancement Program, said Jaime Boan, Coquitlam’s general manager of engineering and public works.

That study, to be done by a committee, will focus on standards, priorities and costs, Boan said.

Deputy city manager Raul Allueva said other Metro Vancouver jurisdictions tie in private partnerships to pay for the labour and power bills; the Heights Merchants Association is involved in The Heights beautification along Hastings Street, he said.

Meanwhile, Lights at Large at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park, as well as the light display at Mackin Park in Maillardville, ends on Jan. 31.

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