MARATHON -- The City Council is already planning for Christmas.
During last week's council meeting, Councilwoman Ginger Snead raised the issue of the city's holiday decorations and expressed her unhappiness yet again. Last October, Snead said she'd been unsatisfied for years over vendor-provided decorations that she described as "something your grandmother had."
At that time, other council members agreed the city's holiday decorations weren't sufficient for the amount of money being spent.
The council directed city staff to modify the contract to clearly specify which decorations would be displayed and when they would be hung and that required all the decorations to be properly lit. The city had problems with decorations that didn't properly function in years past.
The council also wanted the contract to require the installation of decorations not limited to snow-related symbols of the holiday.
Last Tuesday night, the council was in agreement that last December's decorations were not sufficient despite the modifications. So Snead recommended the city not renew the contract with the vendor and instead to use the $30,000 budget to purchase decorations the city could use year after year.
Snead also suggested moving away from the traditional strategy of hanging decorations from light poles.
"By putting a big display at City Hall and [another at] the public park, we'd be better served than having things attached to poles that may or may not light," she said.
The council supported Snead's recommendations.
"We can bring it in-house and make it a hometown holiday," Mayor Mike Cinque said.
The council discussed purchasing banners or flags to be hung on the light poles lining U.S. 1, which could be used year round to announce special events and festivals. City staff was asked to gather information about the cost of banners and flags, as well as the cost of the brackets from which to hang them.
This will be an agenda item at the next council meeting.