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By Carmen Ensinger
Once described as the “black hole of the county” the Greene County Courthouse now shines as a Beacon of Hope in the county after accenting lighting has been added thanks to donations from many individuals and businesses.
At the September 8 County Board meeting, local attorney Nick Graham presented a proposal to the board to install lighting around the courthouse which would light it up at night. The project would cost the county nothing as it would be funded by private donations. The only cost to the county would be the electricity to operate the lights. The board approved the project
Dusk to Dawn Lighting out of St. Louis was contracted to install the lighting.
The project included:
27 LED well-lights highlighting and grazing the stone walls of the exterior of the courthouse.
Four LED brass up lights highlighting the area above the entrance of the north side.
Four LED brass down lights highlighting the stairs on the north side.
Six LED mini puck lights highlighting the areas under the front entrance ceiling on the north and south sides.
Four LED RGB full color fixtures highlighting the clock tower.
Three LED well lights core drilled around the base of the flagpole on the north side.
Four transformers and timers.
All of the LED lights will be controlled through a mobile app installed on a phone. The only thing the county will be responsible for will be the energy used by the lights, which, because they are LED lights, will be very minimal, around $200 per year. The project comes with a 20-year warranty.
The lighting went online around mid-October and the courthouse was lighted for a couple of weeks, but according to Graham, the project was not yet completed.
“Actually, they were not done with the project and the lights were not supposed to be on yet,” Graham said. “We had some issues with the security lighting on the side of the courthouse that had to be addressed and the lights were subsequently taken offline until that could be taken care of.”
According to Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen, who is in charge of the Courthouse and its grounds, the issue with the security light required an electrician.
“We discovered that the security lights were so bright that they were overpowering the accent lighting,” McMillen said. “We couldn’t just turn off the security light because they were on a breaker with another light inside the courthouse so we had to have an electrician come in and put the security light on its own breaker.”
Once the security light issue was taken care of, the lights were turned on – just in time for the holidays.
Graham said they had intended on having a lighting ceremony, but because of the delays, the weather got too cold and they decided to just turn them on for the holidays.
He said while there were a lot of people who contributed towards the project to make it possible, not all of them wanted their name made public. Those who didn’t mind their name being made public include: Tom and Suzanne Hough, Carrollton Bank, CNB Bank and Trust, Pat and Nancy Pinkston, Jim and Dottie Day and other unnamed donors.