Palmerton has jump-started plans to add new Christmas decorations to its downtown, and lights around its park.

That's after the newly-minted Palmerton Holiday Lighting Committee held it's first-ever meeting Wednesday inside borough hall.

Chaired by Joe Federanich, the meeting began with an introduction of the 15-member panel, which consists of merchants, businesses, borough council, Palmerton Community Festival, and interested citizens.

Committee members include Federanich, Marj Federanich, Peter Kern, Bernie Shea, Jeff Hager, Susan Choy, Susan Arner, Kris Hoffner, Jean Papay, Andy Behler, Glenn Sheckler, Joanne Kerscmar, Jayne Stroup, Michele O' Neill, and Terry Ahner.

Joe Federanich said that based on an estimate he obtained, to have 65 lights replaced along Delaware Avenue would cost anywhere from $250 to $300 apiece. At a rate of $300 each, the total cost would be $19,500.

Additionally, the cost for lighting around the park at a rate of $200 each would total $4,400, plus the installation of five support poles at a rate of $200 would total another $1,000, for a total estimated project cost of $25,000 to $30,000

It was then noted that the organization already has $3,000 set aside; $2,000 from the recent Palmerton Concourse Club's Christmas House Tour, and $1,000 the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce raised at last year's Palmerton Community Festival.

Joe Federanich said there were two stipulations he'd like to see followed.

"Any lights that we put up, they must be made in the U.S.," Federanich said. "They should be LED lights, as the cost to the borough for electricity would be reduced by 75-percent."

Shea added "everything we do to Delaware Avenue is going to have to be rubber-stamped by PPL for their acceptance."

The group then discussed fundraising ideas, at which time Joe Federanich said he's like to see a community endeavor in which a mailing list would be sent out to each of the households within the general Palmerton area to solicit broad based community support to help underwrite the cost of the initiative.

It was then suggested that local organizations such as the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce, and Palmerton Concourse Club, work together to develop a protocol for soliciting, expending, and accounting for the funds.

The group's next meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, inside borough hall.

At a Palmerton Chamber luncheon last month, Joe Federanich said the borough would like to have new Christmas decorations throughout its downtown by 2014.

Federanich said the town committee was formed to pick the decorations, and help raise money to afford them. The committee will seek assistance from businesses, organizations, and the community at large, he said.

Kern previously noted that the original decorations were put up in the 1990s, and refurbished about 10 years ago.