Lampposts fading away before their time

In the classic Simon and Garfunkel 59th Street Bridge Song, the singer asks, “Hello lamppost, what cha knowin’?”

The answer to that question has finally come down the line, and from Wilton Center the answer is, it’s time for a paint job.

Twenty of the old-fashioned black lampposts that decorate Wilton Center have peeling paint. The culprit is incorrectly applied paint at the factory when they were purchased nine years ago, according to First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice.

So the lampposts will be removed after the Halloween scarecrow decorations come down. They will be sent back to the factory for refurbishing.

“A representative from the manufacturer and [Public Works Director] Tom Thurkettle walked the length of the lampposts and identified 20 lampposts where the finish did not properly adhere to the pole. Those poles will be refinished by the manufacturer at their facility on Long Island,” Vanderslice said.

There were 75 decorative lamp posts installed altogether. The ones with paint problems are  spread throughout,” she said.

“Tom is working on a plan as to how to execute the refinishing,” Vanderslice said.

The repainting comes at a critical time of year for downtown decorating.

“Obviously, we want to ensure adequate lighting and have all poles in place for the holiday season,” Vanderslice said.

Getting the lampposts back in time for the holiday decorating season is important because downtown merchants rely on the ambience to build their business.

“It lends an air of festivity. If they can get it done in time for the holidays, that would be terrific,” said Nancy Dolnier, manager of the Village Market in Wilton Center.

There are additional poles with finish damage that was not a result of a manufacturing defect, she said. Town workers will address those problems on their own next spring.