The town’s public works department recently installed 21 lampposts in Frog Level, a small historic shopping area on the edge of downtown. The Frog Level Association, a collection of businesses in the district, raised money internally to purchase the lights, and the town agreed to install them for free.
The lights were needed because the old streetlights were insufficient, and trees blocked some of the light, said Jim Pierce, of L. Pierce Pottery on Commerce Street. The attractive old-fashioned style lampposts also give Frog Level a quainter feel and aesthetic appeal.
“Just to brighten the area of town up and make it more inviting to the traffic and the area,” said Pierce, who is also a member of the association. “It was just kind of dark and gloomy down here.” Pierce declined to say how much the lampposts cost.
The Frog Level Association started in the early 2000s as a merchants’ booster group and today includes about 10 businesses. Similar to the Downtown Waynesville Association, the group collaborates on business enhancement, streetscape concepts, needed improvements to storefronts and any problems they’re dealing with.
Pierce noted that Frog Level has continued to change for the better during the last decade or so. The town pulled up old, crumbling bricks from the sidewalk and replaced them; a new sign pointing people to Frog Level was posted on Depot Street; and a mural featuring a frog sitting on a construction worker’s level on the wall of a brick building along Depot Street welcome people to the distinct section of town.
“We’ve come along pretty good down here,” Pierce said, adding that no other projects are currently in the hopper for Frog Level.
Waynesville leaders do not have any special plans for Frog Level at this time either.
The new lampposts were just one of many minor improvements the town helps out with each year to update and upgrade the Waynesville’s streetscapes, said Public Works Director Fred Baker.
“We try to do a little project in Frog Level, Hazelwood and downtown,” Baker said.
Baker added that the new lights will allow for more light and give Frog Level a more uniform look.