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West End, Sapperton included in holiday lighting money
The city will spread its holiday decorative lighting cheer around to New Westminster's four business districts.
After getting proposals from the Uptown and Downtown business associations to split the costs of their plans to light up their commercial districts this December, council decided to look at whether it should include the West End (12th Street) and Sapperton business associations in their holiday lighting cheer. On Monday, council approved a staff recommendation to allocate between $3,000 and $5,000 to each of the four business associations.
The decision to ask the other two associations came at the urging of Coun. Betty McIntosh at council's Aug. 26 meeting.
"It appears as both business areas want to do that. I'm glad we consulted with them," said McIntosh on Tuesday. "It makes it more equitable, and it's not just Uptown getting some sort of Christmas decorations."
She wasn't totally happy, though. McIntosh would have preferred council decide on a specific amount because allowing a range of $2,000 leaves wriggle room for an unequal distribution of funds.
"Let's keep it equitable. Why would you say this district can have only $3,000 and another district have $5,000," said McIntosh. "You should have the same amount for each district."
McIntosh added restricting it to the four associations could also be unfair to other areas. She cited the Ewen Street commercial district in Queensborough as a possible place for decorative holiday lighting.
Although the plan is to split the costs 50-50, Uptown's budget for pole-mounted lights is $11,500 plus tax with the city's portion being $5,000 plus tax. Downtown will split the $6,340 cost of a Hyack Square Christmas tree with the city.
While the West End and Sapperton associations are interested in similar arrangements, McIntosh admitted it might be too late for this year's holiday season.