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Springfield wants new decorations for Christmas
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The Springfield City Council discussed Tuesday night purchasing new Christmas decorations for Laurel Street.

Mayor Barton Alderman said the Christmas decorations are in need of replacing.

“We have had some comments about them,” he said. “We’ve done a little research.”

He said the decorations that are being looked at range from $300 to $500, and the city would look for private funding to help pay for the new decorations.

City Manager Brett Bennett said there were between 10 and 15 decorations, and the number of them has dwindled down through the years.

“We’ve gotten a lot of comments about it, and I wanted to let you know we’re looking into it,” he said. “We’re not trying to make a decision tonight.”

Council member Kenny Usher said the council has discussed this before, and if there is money to purchase new decorations, the city should.

Bennett said there is some money put aside for new decorations, but the city will need to find other funds as well.

“Most of them run around $300, and a lot of places are running specials right now because it’s not the season,” he said.

Bennett said he wasn’t sure how long it would take for the decorations to come in if they were ordered now.

Alderman said the total cost for decorations would be between $5,000 and $7,000.

Councilman Butch Keiffer said he wanted to see how much of an interest in donating for the decorations there is, and he felt it would be something that can be done.

Usher said a lot of people notice the decorations.

The council also discussed the sign ordinance for downtown. There was a request for a variance for Déjà vu Consignment Boutique.

Building inspector Wendell Arnsdorff said the sign looks good.

“There is a problem when people apply for a business license,” Arnsdorff said. “They don’t know the regulations on signs. We’re going to try to get out a memorandum to go with the business license so they know ahead.”

He said it’s not fair to those who find out the regulations and stick to them to be restricted to a 20 square foot sign, and those who don’t find out the regulations to get a variance for a larger sign.

“We’re going to try to do a better job of informing the business owners,” Arnsdorff said.

Bennett said the problem is also when people purchase a building with an existing sign, and decide they don’t like that sign.

Arnsdorff said there are two sign ordinances — one that regulates downtown and another for outside of downtown.

Bennett said the sign ordinance needs to be looked at to address how new and old signs are handled.

The council approved a live performance to be held outside of Harvest Church on Aug. 23 as long as the event is coordinated with Police Chief Paul Wynn. The performance will begin at 11 a.m. and go into the afternoon.