Columbus Town Council seeks citizen input on decorations, town events

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

To the editor:

This letter is in response to a letter that appeared in the Dec. 31 issue regarding Christmas lights in the town of Columbus. The letter took issue with the lack of Christmas decorations in the town as compared to other towns in this area.

First, we want to thank the writer for her comments. The town council wants to hear from residents so that we can do what the residents of the town want done. It is important to note that a few years ago Duke Power removed the sub-standard wiring that was in place to energize Christmas decorations that hang on utility poles. The town is working with Duke Power and there will be lighted decorations to go on the poles next year.

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Second, the writer acknowledged that there are budgetary constraints, and those play a big role in the town. Every year the town council has to make difficult decisions about what it can fund and what it cannot fund while trying to keep fees and taxes as low as possible.

Every year, for example, the town spends at least $10,000 on fireworks for the Fabulous Fourth celebration in July. If Christmas decorations are more important than the Fabulous Fourth celebration, then we need to know that. We want to do what the residents want, and if that means spending more on Christmas decorations and less on other items, then that is not a problem. It is important to realize though, that there are limited funds and if more money is spent on one thing, less money must be spent on something else.

The town will be putting together its budget for next year beginning in the next few months. As the mayor and town council, we need to hear from the community what is most important to you. Within budgetary constraints, we want to spend money for items that are most important to the community. If you have input, please contact one of us or the town manager. Your input is important to us.

Mayor Eric McIntyre, Councilman Ricky McCallister, Councilwoman Margaret Metcalf, Councilman Josh Denton, Councilman Richard Hall
Columbus, N.C.