After a session of kvetching on a Bayfield Facebook site, Bayfield town officials met on Monday to discuss the town’s Christmas decorations and ask for input from local residents.
It’s not a deliberate case of “Bah, Humbug!” the Bayfield town manager told the four people in attendance.
The town’s Christmas decorations have worn out over the years, Chris La May explained, to the point that a couple of town public works employees got shocked putting up old Christmas lights.
Exacerbating the problem is that the town’s electrical outlets downtown either don’t work anymore or have been disconnected.
Replacing lights, upgrading the electrical outlets to meet codes, and buying some more decorations will cost about $10,000, La May estimated.
In a time of tight municipal budgets, that’s more than the town can afford.
In comparison, the fireworks display for Independence Day costs about $6,000, and that cost is a bargain because volunteers coordinate the show and shoot the shells.
“The ball has been dropped,” on the Christmas decorations, agreed Mayor Matt Salka. Town staff members and trustees focused this year on a town branding program and the downtown summer block parties, which proved to be successful.
Salka pointed out that with Christmas being two weeks away, there isn’t much time to try to improve decorations this year.
“We can definitely be ready for next Christmas,” Salka said,
The town might set up a separate fund for donations, or even see if businesses or groups would be willing to “adopt a light pole,” La May said.
“I appreciate you calling the meeting,” said Katie Middleton, one of the meeting attendees.