Request to use some Streetscape funds for Christmas lighting tabled
DRI also offers to provide more than $26,000 in funding
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Rhinelander’s Water/Wastewater Committee wants more information before deciding on a request from Downtown Rhinelander Incorporated to use some funds designated for related amenities with the Streetscape project to purchase Christmas lighting downtown.
City public works director Tim Kingman informed the committee at Monday’s meeting that DRI favors purchasing $52,248 worth of Christmas lighting with the city covering half the cost with Streetscape funds and DRI paying the other half.
“I was approached by DRI and some other community members,” Kingman said. “They wanted to see if we could do more with the Christmas lighting.”
Kingman, who also noted he attended a DRI meeting, reported an estimated $27,790 budgeted for Streetscape improvements could be redirected by eliminating four benches along with six recycling and nine trash receptacles, leaving the downtown project with 10 benches and nine recycling and nine trash receptacles.
“The idea would be that possibly at the very end of this project, there might be some money that was freed back up to look at (doing) more on the benches and bike racks,” he said.
The proposal Kingman presented for redirecting funds keeps the number of bike racks for the Streetscape project at nine.
Committee member Sherrie Belliveau said she wanted to see “some other options on the table before we take this other stuff up.”
“Anything in the future, after the initial investment, becomes the city’s responsibility, I would assume, because we own the lights,” Belliveau said. “So any maintenance, any replacement, would all be borne to the city, including our initial investment.”
Committee member Dawn Rog suggested the committee be presented with additional details about DRI’s proposal for Christmas lighting, which calls for a series of snowflake-style LED lamps.
“If there’s other plans, like other people are thinking they’re going to be purchasing something, I guess we just want to make sure that everybody’s on the same page, (in the event) that there’s money that waterpeople want to donate, or be sure that all the options are appropriate,” Rog said.
Committee members agreed to table DRI’s proposal for the time being until they receive more information.