We’ve recently been bragging on all the improvements around White Rock Lake, but it was only a matter of time before someone got ticked off about something. Apparently the city has implemented the installation of 146 (or so) light poles into White Rock Lake’s master plan project — about $400,000 worth.

Judging by this Observer piece, and by a couple e-mails we received here at the Advocate, there’s a bit of controversy surrounding the project’s necessity and its aesthetic appeal or lack thereof.

I live near the lake but not close enough to really be bothered by the nighttime lights (though I do tend to agree with Chip Northrup that the most prevalent crime, car break-ins, happen during the day anyway and are more likely to be thwarted by cameras than night lights). I haven’t even seen the lights in question, or haven’t noticed them.

However, just by reading the story, the most troubling accusation is that the city got sort of duped into an unnecessary purchase that will leave other areas of the park wanting for funds — or worse, that the Parks staff or White Rock Lake Foundation is somehow in cahoots with the lighting contractor.

Whether you’re on the side that calls the lights “golden white” or “dirty orange” doesn’t matter as much as the fact that the city is already knee deep in this expensive project when a bunch of influential neighbors call foul. If said neighbors manage to put a stop to it, which it seems they might, what happens to the money spent? Apparently, at least 46 $6,120 fixtures have already been purchased. Are we committed financially to the whole project? I just left a message with Sheffie Kadane, and I’ll let our readers know what he has to say about it. We’ll stay on top of the situation — but thought it’d be good to get a conversation going.