Greenville DDA discusses Christmas lights, parking, flower baskets

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:35 am on Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GREENVILLE — The Greenville Downtown Development Authority (DDA) discussed decorating and parking during its Tuesday meeting.

With the DDA working to better Greenville’s downtown area, the group discussed holiday and summer decorations and ways to accommodate parking for downtown residents.

The Greenville Department of Public Service has been hard at work hanging Christmas lights through the downtown area this week in preparation of the holiday season.

“The lights will be turned on after Thanksgiving,” said Assistant City Manager Cameron Van Wyngarden.

While putting up lights, it was found about $250 worth of lights needed to be replaced.

“On average, is this price normal?” asked Wendy Gladding.

Van Wyngarden said it is cheaper than last year. Many strands needed to be replaced last year, so the city purchased $800 worth of new LED lights for $400 as Meijer donated half the amount.

LED lights were selected as they are supposed to be more cost efficient and last longer.

Chairman Roy LaMarte asked if the $250 covered LED lights as well. Because it was unclear if the amount did, the board approved up $350 to make sure they stay consistent with the transition.

Wreaths will be placed through downtown the week of Thanksgiving.

Although the city currently is decorating for the holiday season, it also is planning ahead for summer and getting flower baskets ready.

“Jensen’s (Garden Center) likes to start in mid-winter so the flower baskets look good when it comes time to hang them,” Van Wyngarden said.

This year, if no baskets have to be replaced, it will cost the DDA $980 for all the flower baskets that will be hung downtown.

LaMarte asked Van Wyngarden how this year’s price compared to previous years.

Van Wyngard said the price is about the same as previous years, although two years ago it cast the authority more because numerous baskets had to be replaced.

Mayor John Hoppough inquired about Jensen’s also doing planter beds through downtown, as he and other members believe a professional should be brought in to not only plant the flower boxes, but maintain them.

“We would have to solicit for (a professional),” Van Wyngarden said.

With seasonal parking regulations in effect during the winter months, Van Wyngarden said he will be doing a survey to find out exactly how many parking spots are needed downtown.

“We need to make sure there is enough parking for downtown residents,” he said, noting he will find out how many residents are at each location.

“It wouldn’t do us any good to add 30 parking spots in one area if a majority of the residents live in another,” Van Wyngarden said.

If changes need to be made, Van Wyngarden said he would bring the issue back to the DDA in future months.

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