West Bend Downtown BID Board to pay for extra holiday decorations

By RALPH CHAPOCO - Daily News Staff

Nov. 9, 2017

Bob Jung with the Department of Public Works hangs lights across Main Street on
Nov. 13, 2015, in downtown West Bend.
Daily News

West Bend officials will invest additional money to maintain the holiday decorations they use to adorn the city.

Members of the Business Improvement District voted during Tuesday’s meeting to approve paying up to $500 for city staff to place Christmas lights and bows in the downtown area. This is in addition to the $2,000 they spent for 66 red bows to replace those that have been torn or faded because of repeated use.

“I believe there is a 120 or so, and we had purchased 60 new ones two years ago I believe, and the goal was to purchase a few more this year,” Board member Brian Culligan said. “Some of them are in pretty rough shape. The velvet scraped off and the fabric was exposed, sun-faded as you can see.”

Public works crews from the city will affix the new bows to the sprays, replacing the prior ones, and placing them on the light posts along Main Street. The decorations will also feature larger bows that will be attached to the swags that go across the street overhead. The bows were faded as well, but they were spray-painted with a darker hue of red to salvage them.

“The one question I have, our past practice has been to invoice the BID for labor for this,” Public Works Director Doug Neumann said. “The new bows, we took the liberty of 66 of them yesterday, so they did come in. They will go on the sprays. We have quite a difference in the two types of bows. Our plan is to start along the downtown first and then, if we have more, move outside that area with the new bows.”

Crews will also decorate the downtown area, comprised of part-time staff as well as volunteers. Those interested in assisting can contact Economic Development Manager Adam Gitter by calling city hall.

“When we initially did the holiday decorations, the agreement was verbal, but the BID was going to buy them, donate them to the city, and the city was going to take care of them, putting them up, putting them down and storing them,” Board President Mike Husar said. “Then next year, all of a sudden, ‘we will store them, take them up, take them down, but the BID has got to pay.’” Members asked for the wage rate for staff and eventually agreed to pay no more than $500 for the service.