They have lighted the streets of Bradenton for two decades, but this may be their final holiday season as the city’s Christmas decorations appear to be flickering out for good.
The city estimates replacing the deteriorating decorations could run as high as $250,000.
I’m not sure how they will keep them together much longer.
City administrator Carl Callahan
Carl Callahan, city administrator, said the public works department has been patching the decorations and using bailing wire to hold them together for some time now, “but it’s something we are going to have look at in the near future. I’m not sure how they will keep them together much longer.”
The last time the city purchased new decorations, a citizen committee was formed to raise money. Ward 2 Councilman Gene Brown served on that committee and said repeating the process may be the best way to go.
It’s something we need to look into and find someone to spearhead that effort, but we need to work on that now.
Ward 2 City Councilman Gene Brown
“If all of a sudden we didn’t have them, that would be a bad impression on us,” Brown said. “It’s something we need to look into and find someone to spearhead that effort, but we need to work on that now. If we can get new lights in January or February, it’s the time to get the best deals and save up to 75 percent instead of waiting until next October.”
Callahan said the decorations needed to be addressed years ago.
“But we were in the throngs of the recession. We just have to be ingenious about this and look at it from an us and business combination because it’s a great enhancement to the downtown. It’s important as much as it’s become a tradition for us and this could be an opportunity to take it further than what we’ve done and expand the decorations down Riverwalk.”
The city is welcoming suggestions and potentially seeking committee members. Those interested can call the city clerk’s office at 941-932-9461.