THOMASVILLE — The City of Thomasville has completed its lighting project at Cherokee Lake Park, where it installed 57 decorative antique post light fixtures around the one-mile walking trail.

“It was a total underground electric job,” Brent Alderman, electric operations manager, said. “I think we put in roughly 6,000 feet of underground conduit and wiring, transformers and secondary pedestals for control wiring to power the lights.”

The city budgeted $50,000 for 52 lights and also used for five more lights an additional $20,000 left in a Georgia Department of Natural Resources grant for park improvements.

The project was expected to be completed in September, but it was finished at the end of July.

“We had a dedicated crew who could work on the project full time,” Alderman said. “That saved us an additional month or so of labor costs.”

An exact amount of labor costs and savings was not available by press time.

Now, the park will have extended hours (see box) so residents and visitors can enjoy the recreational area all times of the year.

“The extended hours and added lighting will allow all of our residents more time to enjoy this beautiful park,” Mayor David Lewis said in the city press release.

Jonathan Herrmann, ground man, worked on assembling globes for the lights, as well the wiring and setting up the fixtures.

“I think this will be a great thing for Thomasville,” he said.

The lights are the latest improvement at Cherokee Lake Park, Public Works Director Gwen Ridley said.

The track was completed in January with the addition of two pedestrian bridges. Other recent improvements include overgrown vegetation cleanup, enhanced fishing piers, added park benches, picnic tales and the planting of approximately 100 young trees.

He said the city will continue to monitor the lake and stock it with a variety of fish (such as brim and catfish).

Ridley reminded park participants there is no swimming in Cherokee Lake, but fishing is allowed as long as a person has a valid Georgia fishing license. Boats with gas motors are not allowed.

“We want the public to be aware of the fantastic park they can visit,” he said. “This new lighting is going to be an added benefit, especially in the summer when people want to walk at night when it is cooler. It may be a benefit for fishing, too. We’ll wait and see.”

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