On a 6-1 vote the Town Council approved a Fountain Lighting Policy for the use of fountain lighting displays to mark special events or occasions. Vice Mayor Alan Magazine was the lone dissent.
“I don’t like this at all,” Magazine said. “I think it is kind of frivolous. Most of these opportunities are well established.
“I think this is a mistake.”
Community Services Director Rachael Goodwin told the council due to the number of requests, staff felt it appropriate to bring a policy proposal to the council.
Goodwin said staff has gotten requests to use the lighting for birthdays, anniversaries and personal milestones including gender reveals. She emphasized staff does not intend to honor such personal requests but felt there should be a policy to use as a guideline. The town would allow a limited number of requests and they may not be for personal or professional use and adhere to policy guidelines.
In 2020 a new LED lighting system was installed that shines colored lights on the Fountain after dark. Over the past year staff has received requests to use the lights on the Fountain for various events. The system allows for the use of a single static color while the fountain is operating or multiple colors changing through rotation during the display.
The lights have been used during the holidays and special community events, and during the NBA Finals the lights shown purple in honor of the Phoenix Suns.
The plan includes use of the colors at the direction of the council and/or town manager based on criteria established by the policy.
Goodwin said colors could be used to highlight the significance and support of various holidays and observances as well as advocacy for such things as educating the public on an awareness campaign, significant health or safety issues. These might include cancer or domestic violence awareness.
Lighting display requests are intended to draw public attention to an activity or event held by or partnered with the Town.
The lighting is also intended to promote state, local or national holiday or day of remembrance already recognized.
Requests for special color displays must be submitted in writing to the Community Services Department no less than four weeks and no more than one year in advance of the date requested. Upon review by Town staff, applicants will be notified of the approval or denial of the request within 10 days of submission.
Approved applications must meet one of the following criteria:
*The lighting request is intended to educate or enlighten the public about a significant health or safety issue or emphasize a recognized awareness campaign. (Examples included Domestic Violence Awareness, Cancer Awareness, etc.)
*The lighting request is intended to draw public attention to an activity or event held by or partnered with the Town of Fountain Hills.
*The lighting promotes a local, state or national holiday or day of remembrance not already recognized.
The following guidelines will also be in effect for any approved public lighting requests:
*No more than four Fountain color displays will be allowed within any calendar month.
*Each Fountain lighting request will be permitted to last up to four nights, with the exception of national holidays and national health observations, which may be extended at the discretion of the Community Services Director.
*A weekday block, (Monday through Thursday) or weekend block (Friday through Sunday) will be used.
*Approvals will not be granted for multiple years, nor will they be automatically approved for successive years.
*Every attempt will be made to meet the color choice requested; however the Town cannot guarantee all colors will be precise.
*Color choices, or combinations include red, blue, teal, yellow, white, green, orange, pink and purple.
*The Fountain operates daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is subject to wind and other natural factors.
*Lighting requests will not be rescheduled or amended if the Fountain operations are altered due to wind.
*All display approvals are contingent upon equipment operation and maintenance. No lighting request approval is guaranteed for any reason.