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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Will it be Christmas lights, or business as usual?
The topic of putting up Christmas lights was hashed out during a work session following the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen’s regular meeting last Thursday night.
Ward 1 Alderman Patrick Fahey had brought up the issue at a previous meeting.
City Administrator Happy Welch went over some options for adding colored lights downtown and some of the challenges. He said he had not seen any red or green lights for sale, but that programmable lights might be an option. They would run on 208-volt electricity, however, which would present a challenge. He estimated it would take city crews half to three-quarters of a day to put them up.
Ward 2 Alderman Eric Bennett had some reservations.
“I think we’ve identified enough other projects in the city that require money and time from our staff,” he said. “I wouldn’t consider this a priority.”
“I would say every city around us has Christmas lights downtown, seasonal lights,” Fahey countered. “We have none. Zero. If you stand on Main Street, it looks like Baghdad on Christmas Eve. There is not a light anywhere.
“And for a city our size, relying on tourism, where people want to come and shop downtown and all, to have a void of lights. I think sends a message like we’re not into the Christmas spirit at all. So I think for a modest amount of money like this, to at least have some lights. I’m working with individual businessmen to do some type of coordinated lighting, kind of at each of their expense as well, if we can get that figured out. That’s complicated like everything. But I would think if we got colored lights in those lanterns, at least down Main Street, that it would at least be a start for this year.”
Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan suggested that if at least Main Street Park could be lit up, “to announce the season, would be nice.”
He noted that, “It would be nice to have something.”
Welch said that they could put a few lights along Main Merchant, Market and Third streets “and see how that looks.”