Posted on December 24, 2021.
But funds for maintenance are dwindling
By Judy Reed
It’s a colorful lighthouse for miles around. And when you see it on, you know Christmas is just around the corner.
The beacon of joy we are talking about is the evergreen tree over 90 feet tall at 427 S. Main Street (Northland Drive), Cedar Springs, in the Reep family home.
The former owner of the house, Evelyn Cossin, decorated the tree with red and white lights every Christmas, and the town has carried on that tradition. When she died in 1988, she left a CD for $ 15,000 to help the town with a portion of the expenses to maintain the tree each holiday season.
However, according to City Manager Mike Womack, with the low interest rates of recent years and increasing maintenance costs, the CD is no longer able to generate enough interest funds to pay the DPW to complete. the necessary maintenance costs.
“I know the DPW has worked with the current owner to explore various ways to cut costs and the current owner has also volunteered to pay for some of those maintenance costs, but however you break it down , the interest is simply no longer enough to keep the costs of the holiday illuminated signage down, ”he said.
Womack said he had developed an administrative policy for the City that they would begin to dip into the trust capital to help maintain the tree, which will eventually eliminate funding for annual maintenance but should allow the City to continue paying for the tree for a few more years.
“We also discussed the idea of simply attaching the entire tree with brand new, heavy-duty LED bulbs, which should be relatively maintenance-free for years to come (7-8) but which would also cost a substantial price now and eliminate probably most of Principal Cossin, ”he said.
Womack also noted that Cedar Springs City Council has yet to weigh in on the matter, and perhaps they might have other ideas or want to move in a different direction.
In the meantime, enjoy the beauty of the lights and have a Merry Christmas!