Could Palmerton's spacious downtown park be lit in time for the Christmas holiday?
Members of the Palmerton Holiday Lighting Committee certainly hope that's the case after discussing the matter Wednesday inside borough hall.
Committee chairman Joe Federanich said the committee voted to put a snowflake on each one of the green poles in the park, and added there will also be colored lights between each pole so that the entire park will be lit in time for Christmas.
Federanich said that decision came after a meeting on Tuesday with Rileighs Outdoor Decor, of Bethlehem, following a walk through the park.
In other matters, Federanich said that with regard to deposits and payments, the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce will serve as depositor of funds, with a special account created with First Northern Bank of Palmerton.
Federanich noted that Peter Kern, chamber president, wrote a letter that will be included in each mailing for the solicitation of community support to help underwrite the cost of the initiative.
In addition, Federanich said the group has applied for a grant with the Horsehead Community Development Fund.
Lastly, Federanich said the group discussed the possibility of hosting a community day in December, whereby there would be additional Christmas trees lit in the park, a group to sing Christmas Carols, hot chocolate, and a visit from Santa Claus.
"It would be held on a Saturday afternoon for the merchants to participate," Federanich said. "We want to make it a whole community day."
However, Federanich stressed the concept is merely in the discussion phase.
Based on an estimate he obtained last month, Federanich said 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.
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.
At a Palmerton Chamber luncheon in March, 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.
The committee's next meeting has been scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at which time a representative from Rileighs is expected to be on hand.