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$2 million of ARPA funds to install 200 light fixtures in downtown Wichita Falls

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Since receiving $29.1 million of American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, funds, the Wichita Falls City Council elected to pour $2 million into downtown lighting.

Councilors approved the proposal back in April 2022.

According to Director of Transportation John Burrus, the goal of this project is to improve lighting to increase foot traffic and safety. Burrus said 200 fixtures and lights will cover the core of downtown and 8th Street west of Scott.

He said people have complained about lighting, especially as surrounding tree limbs block much of the light. According to Burris, this option eliminates the need to remove or cut trees.

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It also aims to support local art initiatives and allow more opportunities like public Wi-Fi access, and electronic video message boards, opening the door to more commerce and potential federal programs for residential living.

“By building this infrastructure, we’re going to make it more inviting in downtown,” Burrus said. “It really does kind of open up a whole network of grants out there that we’ve never had an opportunity to apply for.”

Burrus expects the project to begin in October.

The project will be finished in about 18 months or by the end of 2025 at the latest, per the ARPA guidelines.

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