Thirteen community members of Salida addressed the  lighting project alteration to the Alpine Park Basketball Court at the Salida City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday evening in the Touber Building.

The agenda included approval of a change order that would allow for a programmable light system at the basketball court that is currently being resurfaced and repainted. The change order would allow for the lights to be installed with the resurfacing job that is being completed.

Concerned community members who reside on both E Street and 5th Street spoke of multiple issues that could potentially arise with approving the lights. Including light pollution, reckless teenage behavior, safety concerns, unlawful parking, interruption to wildlife and alteration to the historical landscape.

Among the 13 community members who spoke, were members of Chaffee County Family and Youth Initiatives who endorsed the addition of the lights.

“Teens do not feel there are enough things for them to do in this community… I’m in favor of the lights,” said Dibby Olson, a certified prevention specialist with Family and Youth Initiatives and the Extraordinary Teen Council. “It provides another safe place for teens to be in the evening. After all, that’s what parks are for — to play in.”

The council approved the change order, with the stipulation that the lights be shutdown at 8 p.m. The council addressed their willingness to be flexible with the neighbor’s concerns moving forward.