Brighter street lights coming to stretch of Tamarind Avenue in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -  Thirty-one street lights owned by Florida Power & Light are being replaced with brighter lights by the city of West Palm Beach to reduce crime in the neighborhoods around the Tamarind Avenue corridor, NewsChannel 5 has learned.

The replacement of the lights is part of a broader effort by mayor Jeri Muoio to turn around the area.

Since January, the city has hired private security guards to patrol the neighborhoods and landscaped key intersections.

"One of our main goals is to make sure that it's safe an [that] people know that it's safe to be there," Muoio said. "Ultimately, we want to promote that area as one of the historic areas of the city."

The lights will cost approximately $13,000 to replace and will increase the monthly amount to Florida Power & Light by about $2,000.

"Things have changed over here," said David Wilburn, a West Palm Beach resident. "We had a lot of drug trafficking and drive-by shootings and that has stopped now."

The lights being replaced are between Banyan Boulevard and Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard.

A spokesperson for the city of West Palm Beach Police Department said crime in the area had decreased because of increased police presence, community involvement and city revitalization projects.

The West Palm Beach City Commission was expected to approve the replacement of the lights on Monday.

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