Money generated from the sale of surplus city vehicles and equipment is being used to repair the street lighting in Tucumcari, according to city officials.
It's an effort to light streets and make the community safer and more appealing to travelers on Interstate 40 at night, said Doug Powers, city manager.
Powers said city commissioners approved the sale of excess vehicles and equipment and the money raised from those sales has been used to fund light repair on two major streets in Tucumcari.
Powers said the city has been working with Xcel Energy and had the lights repaired along First street and three blocks west of the Tucumcari Convention Center on Route 66. He said the goal is to restore the lights to the west interchange.
"On several occasions I've been told that area is too dark," Powers said.
Powers said travelers take that exit only to turn around and get back on I-40 because they are uncertain there is a town ahead. He said the city has purchased new wire, conduits ($5,500) and junction boxes and fittings ($2,300) for the 31 lights along that section of road.
The head lamps of the lights along those roads will be replaced with high pressure sodium lamps, said David Essex, Xcel's manager for Community and Economic Development in Clovis.
Essex said the previous lamps were Mercury Vapor, which have become illegal due to the mercury in them. He said Xcel is working to replace the lamps and assist the city all they can as they restore lights to the portions of town affected.
"It is very important to have these lights fixed, to promote business in that corridor and encourage travel along Route 66 in the city and the outlining area," said Dora Salinas McTigue, District 1 city commissioner.
Salinas McTigue said it is a matter of safety and encouraging tourists to visit our area. She said has heard of businesses closing on west Route 66 because traffic has all but stopped due to the lack of lighting.