Each holiday, public works teams throughout McHenry County are put to the task of decorating for the holidays. Here is how much some municipalities are spending and what their process is for setting up lights.
The village of Huntley bought 88 light fixtures this year for $30,800, according to village documents.
But residents have commented on local Facebook groups asking what the light fixtures are depicting.
One user wrote: "OK ... I've been trying to figure out what the new lights represent every time I drive down Route 47. Champagne flutes? A modern 'Christmas Story' Leg Lamp?"
Another user asked whether the decorations look like Las Vegas or night club decor.
The answer is champagne flutes – 88 of them, each 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Village Management Assistant Barb Read said the village started by decorating its downtown area and Main Street but wanted to expand along Route 47.
"I’ve gotten so many positive comments regarding the Route 47 fixtures," Read said. "I know there were several negative ones on Facebook, but the positive ones have way outweighed them. They said it makes us look classy and it helps brighten up the area. The goal is to make our downtown look nice, professional and welcoming."
The decorations were bought from Artistic Holiday Designs, which designs and sells unique holiday decorations. The flutes were made for adifferent village, which used them for a year and then had Artistic Holiday Designs create a different style. The original cost for the flutes was $789.12 a flute, but Huntley received them at a sale price of $350 each, according to village documents.
Artistic Holiday Designs also works with Naperville, Park Ridge, Rosemont and New Lenox.
The village is using a three-year lease-to-buy plan, paying $10,266 each year. Installation costs $12,200 the first year and includes installing permanent brackets on all the light poles. In the following year, installation will cost $6,480 a year.
Huntley’s purchase was inspired by positive comments received regarding downtown improvements and special events on the 2017 resident survey, according to village documents.
Huntley spent about $8,000 this year for Main Street decorations, and the village typically spends about $1,000 each year replacing or adding lights for the downtown area, Read said.
The village plans to buy new banners for Route 47 next year, Read said.
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