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Guyton City Council pondering Christmas decoration options
Guyton Christmas tree
The Central Boulevard tree used for the City of Guyton’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting is shored up by braces after splintering during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

GUYTON — Christmas was in the air — or at least in the discussion — during the Aug. 13 meeting of the Guyton City Council.

The Central Boulevard tree that the City of Guyton has used for its annual Christmas Tree Lighting for many years is in poor condition after being damaged by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. It is shored up by several braces.

“It has been mentioned — if we are going to continue to have that ceremony — we might need to talk about replacing that tree,” Mayor Jeff Lariscy said. “I don’t know how much cost is involved and I would like council to give me some direction on that — if you see that as a project or not.”

The council expressed a desire for a new tree. Lariscy then said he would inquire with area nurseries about the cost.

“In the interim, it has been suggested we could have a caboose lighting,” Lariscy said. A caboose is stationed a few feet from the tree in the middle of town.

In a more pressing matter, the council moved closer to inking an agreement with the Effingham County Commission for fire protection. Only “minor corrections” need to be made to the draft.

Staffing problems at the Guyton Fire Department prompted the city council to turn to the county for help in July.

“Overall, I think it’s a great agreement and I think we are on the verge of history,” Post 1 Council Member Steve Collins said.

“It went in the right direction,” City Attorney Ray Smith added, referring to changes made to the county’s initial proposal.