Monday, August 12, 2013
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COVINGTON - Downtown Covington will be a little brighter this Christmas, as the city of Covington and Main Street have agreed to jointly allocate a total of $40,000 for additional holiday lights.
A request for proposal has been issued for the project, initially proposed in March by Scoops and Just Dogs and Burgers owner Susan Kirk. Her proposal was to light the downtown in three phases: Phase one would involve lighting the rooftops and architectural details, such as windows and brick awnings, of buildings along the Square.
The second phase would involve wrapping all trees in new tree wells downtown from bottom to top, including those down side streets. The third phase would be to light the tree in the Square Park traditionally used as the community Christmas tree with 5,000 lights that would be synchronized to music. Fifteen-minute light shows would take place twice per night during the holiday season, Kirk told the council in March. The city already has speakers for music to be piped in for the show, she added.
Kirk estimated the cost would be $47,000 to hire a professional service to install, service, take down and store the lights. Interim Main Street Covington Director Randy Vinson said proposals are being sought to find out what can be done for $40,000. Some business owners are discussing staying open late on Thursdays and Fridays during the holidays, he said.
Kirk said the lights would draw people from surrounding towns like Monroe, Social Circle and Madison as, “There’s no city that’s doing this within 100 miles that it’s free.”
The city’s portion of the funds will come from hotel/motel taxes, said City Manager Leigh Anne Knight. A portion of those taxes are designated for special projects. That list is expected to be amended by the council at its Aug. 19 meeting to include the downtown lighting project.