Downtown Columbus Christmas lights in question this year

Published 2:52 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Duke Power removed faulty outlets on poles

The Town of Columbus is questioning how it’s going to light up the town this year for Christmas after faulty electrical outlets and fixtures were removed from downtown poles this year.

Columbus Town Council met Oct. 18 and heard from town manager Jonathan Kanipe that the current plan is to power up Stearns Park to be used as a focal point this year.

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Councilman Ricky McCallister asked about lighting up downtown this year since Duke Power removed the outlets on the poles during a revamping of the town’s electrical system.

“We won’t be able to light up the trees and poles at Christmas?” McCallister asked.

“As far as downtown, we haven’t figured out a solution yet,” Kanipe said. “It’s going to be costly.”

McCallister and councilwomen Margaret Metcalf said the town needs to light up the trees and poles during the Christmas season. Kanipe said at this point there are a few places where lights won’t be possible but the town can do other decorations.

Kanipe’s initial suggestion was to power Stearns Park with the gazebo receiving a power supply (ensuring there are no longer extension cords functioning as electrical lines to the site).

“This will allow for a large, concentrated Christmas display at Stearns Park and ensure the town has a focal point for its holiday celebrations,” Kanipe said.

Metcalf said having a “winter wonderland” at Stearns is good, but it will make the town look lopsided.

“We need that lighting,” Metcalf said.

Metcalf also asked if the town could have a large Christmas tree placed in front of town hall this year.

Council directed Kanipe to check on pricing for new outlets in the areas currently without power. Council plans to discuss the pricing and what to do about electrical outlets during its November meeting.