Council talks of lights, flowers

    Christmas lights that are showing their age and a downtown flowers program that is in a financial hole sparked a discussion at Tuesday night's meeting of Decatur City Council.
    Councilman Matt Dyer raised the issue, noting that some business people have complained to him that not all the lights are functional.
    Mayor John Schultz noted that the holiday lights are a Chamber of Commerce program, and that the city provides no funding for the lights.
    Street/Sanitation Superintendent Jeremy Gilbert pointed out that the city's only involvement is storing the lights for the Chamber. "It (the lights) is something that is going to have to be addressed, though," he said, referring to the deterioration of the lights.
    That brought up the matter of the downtown flower program which, it was revealed in this newspaper on Monday, is $2,648 in debt.
    The city provides no money for that program, either. It, too, is a function of the Chamber which is headed by one-man-gang Pastor Dan York.
    Councilman Cam Collier asked if there isn't some permanent solution that could be established for both programs.
    The mayor said it has been suggested that the city's parking meter fine money be directed to causes of that type. The fines generate approximately $5,500 annually, money which goes into the general fund.
    Deputy Police Chief Greg Cook, attending the meeting as a department leader, and City Attorney Tim Baker noted that perhaps something could be set up through the Adams County Community Foundation (ACCF) led by Coni Mayer.
    The discussion closed with the mayor saying he would take to Chamber officials and asking Parks and Rec Superintendent Steve Krull to look into the possibility of any grants being available. Krull is a member of the city's tree board.