Back when the Common Council was making the decisions involved in purchasing the new lampposts for Warren Street, the principal argument for fiberglass composite poles was that they were "maintenance free." They were not painted, the color was impregnated into the fiberglass, and they would never need to be repainted. For these benefits, the majority of the Council voted to purchase fiberglass composite poles, in spite of the fact that the committee tasked with studying the pole issue and making recommendations had recommended cast aluminum poles.
Now, with the Register-Star reporting yesterday that the project is complete and the poles are all in place, Carmine Pierro, who as mayor's aide had oversight of the project, is warning residents not to hang signs on the new poles with tape "since this can be damaging to the paint" and celebrating the fact that "if and when the poles' paint jobs may need some touching up, the color is common enough that one can easily purchase a can of spray paint from the local hardware store to match the color." (The comment about the spray paint doesn't seem to take into consideration the fact that the poles aren't exactly true black right now and will undoubtedly fade over time, making matching the color something of a challenge.)
So, which is it? Are the poles "maintenance free" as the Council was led to believe, or are they going to require the periodic touch-up with a spray can?