After several months of discussion, Wendell is finally taking the first steps to look at relocating the Lake Myra holiday lights show for this year.
The lights used to be on a plot of land at 410 E. Fourth Street, but that land has been leased to a communications company to construct a cell tower to provide better mobile service to the downtown area.
The land was privately owned, so the proposal presented at last week’s Board meeting suggested moving the lights display to town property.
Town Manager Teresa Piner said town staff was looking at setting up the lights display in town square, where the Harvest Festival is held every year. The setup wouldn’t change, although there would potentially be a holiday scene on display on the square’s stage.
The Board of Commissioners will vote on this later, but they did ask town staff to go back and make sure all the town’s bases were covered.
The new proposal says Lake Myra Lights can begin set up in early October, after the Harvest Festival. Normally, setup begins in August for the show that launches sometime around Thanksgiving (this year, the lights show would open Nov. 22).
To make up for the lost time, the proposal said civic groups or student groups could come in to help with the display. Mayor Pro Tem James Parham said in that case, the town should look at insurance or other policies to make sure the town is covered if something happens to a volunteer.
The new, more central location of the display also means breaking the displays down would have to happen quickly, being cleared by Jan. 31, 2015.
“We cannot aesthetically let it sit for 30, 60 or 90 days,” said Mayor Tim Hinnant.
Commissioner Ginna Gray suggested the town dedicate one or two staff members to help with setup and clean up. It would help with the timeline set forth in the proposal, she said.
The town already dedicates money to the event. Last year, it used $3,100 to help with decorations and other costs, Piner said.