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OUR VIEW: Buy the lights

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It was August 2009 when the city closed the door on the idea of purchasing Christmas lights.
Vice Mayor Teresa Barron had suggested the city consider buying lights rather than renting. She did a little research and found the manufacturer that supplied the rental company would sell the fixtures that adorn poles along U.S. Highways 27A and 19 for $14,000 with a three-year warranty.
Barron dreamed big, suggesting the city could buy fixtures for 100 light poles for $23,000.
The city fathers fretted.
They had no bucket truck. The City of Williston would loan theirs for the job.
The fixtures would have to be stored somewhere. There was an empty cargo container available at the industrial park.
Someone would have to keep track of them, clean them, repair them. Barron suggested city employees could.
The city's fathers stood firm. They would continue renting lights.
Since then, the city has spent $9,000 per year on Christmas lights. In the past five years, the bill has been $45,000.
The City Commission should have just flushed the taxpayers' $45,000 down a toilet.


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