Lake Havasu City officials say one of the soccer fields at Cypress Park is in need of a little illumination, so the city plans to apply for a grant to help pay for one more light.
Final approval of a grant application to the U.S. Soccer Federation is on the City Council’s consent agenda at its Nov. 12 meeting. The foundation’s Safe Places to Play Grant would potentially provide $25,000 of a $70,000 price tag for a new field light, identical to the five already in place around the park.
When the park was built in 2017, the original field lights caused a bit of an uproar amongst some nearby residents who thought the lighting would adversely affect the surrounding neighborhood.
“A lot of the residents wanted to make sure that those lights weren’t going to be shining into their yards, homes, and windows,” Knudson said. “So the city installed the lights that you see there today which shine directly, and have a very narrow focus. They shine directly down and not out, which is very important to that neighborhood.”
Greg Warner, who lives across the street from Cypress Park, said he has always supported building the park in the neighborhood and has been pleased with the way the lighting has worked out over the past two years.
“There is really no shine back from the lights,” he said. “It is excellent. It is everything that they said it would be. Our front yard is actually dark at night.”
Not all of the neighborhood’s residents feel the same way, however.
“It was always nice to sit out on the deck at night, or in the spa, without a light,” said Bob Jonas, who also lives across the street from Cypress Park. “But now there is one right there and it shines right in my freaking eyes. But they put them up and there was nothing that we could do about it.”
Although Jonas said he was against the lights in the park from the beginning, he said he doubts one more field light will make much of a difference.
“What’s one more light?” he asked.
Jonas also noted that the lights used at Cypress Park do seem to be more focused within the park than some of the other field lights around town.
“They are a lot better lights than the ones at the university – they light up the whole area,” Jonas said. “So it is what it is.”
Warner and Jonas both agreed that the park has become quite popular with both children and families since it was built in 2017.
“It has been great for the community and great for the kids,” Warner said. “It is just wonderful to have all these kids out running around, getting exercise, and enjoying the beautiful park. Families are out there every night. If there is an extra light there it doesn’t bother us at all.”
If Lake Havasu City is awarded the Safe Places to Play Grant of $25,000, the remaining $45,000 for the additional light would be taken from the general fund. Knudson said if the grant application is not successful the city will have to decide if it wants to apply for a different grant, or foot the full bill itself.
“We love trying to match grants with city needs so that we offset the use of taxpayer dollars, but it is something that is needed,” Knudson said. “So we will have to find a solution here if the grant doesn’t go through. But we will talk about next steps if and when we get to that point, and hopefully we don’t.”