Archive for Sunday, October 14, 2007

Town buying $5,000 Christmas tree

Tonganoxie council to purchase artificial decoration for downtown

October 14, 2007

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Tonganoxie leaders deck the halls in a big way this year

As part of a downtown promotion event, the city of Tonganoxie will hoist an 18-foot Christmas tree in a vacant lot downtown this winter. Enlarge video

— No one on the Tonganoxie City Council can be accused of being a Scrooge.

During a recent meeting, council members unanimously voted to spend up to $5,144 on an artificial Christmas tree for downtown.

"Yeah, it is an expense, but it's something that's going to last us a long time," Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal said. "Plus it will get people downtown and get them into the holiday spirit."

The 18-foot tree will come with 624 colored LED bulbs already attached.

The price of the tree itself was quoted at $4,069, with an additional $725 for 625 replacement LED bulbs and $350 for shipping.

Marjorie Medley, an account representative for Display Sales, who quoted the tree's price for the city, said she was not sure of the tree's life expectancy. But she did say it would have a longer life if it were properly stored when not in use.

The tree, she noted, has room to grow. It comes in sections, and additional sections can be added to increase its height to 24 feet, 30 feet or a maximum of 40 feet.

Lyn Walther, owner of Strawberry Hill Christmas Tree Farm in Lawrence, wasn't sure about the city's purchase.

"For years there was a lot of lead in those trees, and when they caught fire they were toxic," Walther said.

Walther also mentioned that real trees were a renewable resource and the creation of artificial trees uses nonrenewable resources.

"It's a lot easier to grow more real trees than it is to get more oil," she said.

She did note that artificial trees don't need to be watered, and an 18-foot tree would be hard to find in the area because most tree farmers keep their trees under 10 feet.

Walther wasn't sure exactly how much, but said the cost of shipping could significantly increase the cost of a real tree. Her trees cost $7 per foot.

Vestal is banking on the tree helping make the downtown more attractive during the holidays.

"I know it's going to be a heck of an expense, but I think it will pay for itself," he said.

This will be the first year the mayor will have the tree lighting downtown. The lighting ceremony previously had been at the VFW. This year's tree-lighting ceremony is slated for Nov. 29.

Comments

Ragingbear 7 years, 10 months ago

~~No one on the Tonganoxie City Council can be accused of being a Scrooge.~~

True. But nobody in the Tonganoxie City Council can be accused of trying to save the taxpayers money.

Besides, you could have gotten a Festivus pole for much cheaper, and the religionist/athiest would have a lot of trouble challenging it.

KsTwister 7 years, 10 months ago

Like Lawrence doesn't waste? Tongie is still under what our budget did. "Crews next week will begin removing Christmas lights lining buildings on Massachusetts Street as downtown merchants plan for new holiday decorations.

Rick Marquez, executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc., said the group decided that holiday lights it put on buildings several years ago needed to go. The lights were damaged by spring storms and would cost $30,000 to replace."-Aug 31,2006

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 10 months ago

What are Vestal and the rest going to spend decorating the town for Martin Luther King day?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 10 months ago

By then, the traveling "Bras Across the Kaw" exhibit will have arrived.

clyde_never_barks 7 years, 10 months ago

...Lyn Walther, owner of Strawberry Hill Christmas Tree Farm in Lawrence, wasn't sure about the city's purchase..."It's a lot easier to grow more real trees than it is to get more oil," she said.


Whatever that means...thanks for reminding me why I will not be purchasing a real tree Lyn.

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