It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas: Trees along Second Street to be lighted

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The trees that were recently planted to beautify Second Street will soon get an added touch, Christmas lights.

Residents and visitors making their way into downtown Monument will see all 43 pine trees decorated this holiday season. But it almost didn't happen. Town Manager Cathy Green approached the Monument board of trustees during a meeting in September about having lights put on the trees but at a bid of close to $15,000 Mayor Travis Easton and the board of trustees were hesitant saying it was too much money and asked Green if she could find a lower bid.

Green came back with a bid of close to $6,500 a few weeks later but after some more discussion the mayor and trustees decided it was still too much money and that it might be something that could be done next year if it is budgeted.

During the Nov. 5 board meeting John Dominowski, owner of the Front Street Square, requested a grant from the business license fund to be used to install the Christmas lights.

The community development fund comes from business license fees the town collects. According to Pam Smith, town treasurer, there was nearly $34,000 in the 2012 budget. Half of the money goes towards salaries and taxes and the other half goes to supplies and projects. There is a line item budgeted for town beautification under the community development fund. Green told the trustees that there is sufficient money in the budget to pay for the cost of the lights.

“I think it would be a great use of the money if you have it in there,” Easton said.

Dominowski said many business owners, himself included, had been looking forward to the trees being planted and thought they would be a huge asset to the town and would get people to turn down Second Street and go into to town to shop. He brought with him to the meeting signatures from the town merchants are were in favor of having lights put on the trees. Many of them showed up at the meeting.

Each 12-15 foot tall tree will have approximately 50 lights.