Gary Launches $3.45 Million “Relight the City” Initiative

GARY, IND. — In a landmark move, the Melton Administration has successfully passed an ordinance approving a $3,451,200 budget allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address the repair and replacement of all municipally-owned streetlights across the City of Gary. The ordinance was unanimously passed with a 7-0 vote by the City Council, despite two members being absent.

Mayor Eddie Melton has voiced strong support for the initiative, underscoring the critical role functional streetlights play in public safety. “For years, our residents have raised concerns about the state of our streetlights in Gary. The Melton Administration recognizes that working streetlights play a critical role in ensuring public safety. Today, we’re taking action with our Relight the City Program. Thanks to the Biden Administration’s support, we can leverage American Rescue Plan Act dollars to relight our city, one streetlight at a time,” Mayor Melton stated.

The project will be managed by the City of Gary’s Public Works Department, which recently completed a comprehensive assessment of the city’s approximately 2,000 municipally-owned streetlights. The assessment was conducted in partnership with TWiG Technologies, Inc., which was paid $35,000 to perform a physical survey of all public roads and alleyways. This survey provided detailed information on the location and condition of each streetlight, excluding traffic lights, and enabled the city to estimate the total project cost.

With the budget now approved, the City of Gary will issue a 30-day Request for Proposals (RFP) for vendors to update and replace the streetlights. Once a vendor is selected, the city anticipates a swift and efficient execution of the project.

“We’ll address this project in phases and prioritize areas of the city that we have identified as having the most outages, such as Districts 2, 3, and 4,” said Michael Suggs, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Gary. “We’re estimating that we will be able to repair and upgrade all of our city-owned streetlights by early 2025.”

This ambitious program reflects the city’s commitment to enhancing public safety and quality of life for its residents, leveraging federal support to make substantial infrastructural improvements.–Edited by Ali