If the light’s on, you know he’s Ohm

Randy Ohm proudly stands at a new stand-alone street light he built at the trail head of the Riverfront Trail just east of 32 Road on D Road. The light is solar-powered and off the grid, and symbolizes a soldier standing alone on guard duty at night.

One veteran’s personal project to create a technologically unique light pole that alternately shines light along the Riverfront Trail and proudly welcomes veterans back from war is now a reality.

Randall Ohm, who along with some help from Mesa County parks and Bud’s Signs, led the pouring of concrete and installation of the patriotic pole on Wednesday near the Clifton Nature Park along the popular riverfront rec path.

The solar-powered, dual-cell battery system integrated into the light pole uses just 46 watts to illuminate the path below. Ohm developed the system himself, at his own cost, in the hopes that the technology proves useful enough to lead to the mass manufacture of the LED-based light source.

“It’s a test for us, because I want to see that it works and that it’s doing exactly what I planned it to do. It should give us about 20 years of free light,” Ohm said.

The message proudly welcoming home all veterans on the attached banner is one that rings true for Ohm, who served in the Vietnam War and remembers returning home to protesters spitting at soldiers and calling he and his fellow veterans “baby killers.”

“It’s our way of kind of saying thanks,” Ohm said. “I want it to become like a beacon of hope for those who haven’t come home from the war yet.”

Ohm — who may have the perfect name for a lighting entrepreneur, as an “Ohm” is a measurement of electrical resistance — said he and Greg Linza with Mesa County Facilities and Parks have been working on the patriotic light pole idea for more than two and half years.

A formal presentation by the county is tentatively planned for around Good Friday next week, Ohm said. The approximate address of the light pole is 32 3/8 and D roads.


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