Millville Town Manager Debbie Botchie sighed and said, quietly, “It’s been 12 long years.”
Botchie finally got her Christmas wish — of more than a decade — on Tuesday, May 9, when the Millville Town Council approved a contract for the purchase and installation of Christmas lights.
The new lights will be installed on 13 poles along the north side of Route 26, Botchie said. The council unanimously approved the contract with Christmas Décor at its regular meeting on May 9. The lights have been a pet project of Botchie’s the entire 12 years she has been with the Town.
Over the years, Botchie said, she has fielded the question “Why don’t we have Christmas lights like the other towns?” many times.
She has worked with the state Department of Transportation, she said, and the moratorium on new lights has now been lifted. The $19,000 contract with Christmas Décor covers the purchase of the lights and their installation at the beginning of the holiday season, and removal and storage at the season’s end, Botchie said.
The town council approved the expenditure of up to $25,000 on the lights this year, to cover any additional costs associated with their installation and the installation of lights on the new addition to the town hall, to match the rest of the lights on the building.
After this year, the yearly cost to install and remove the lights will be around $2,600.
The council on Tuesday also moved forward on construction of the new town park, with the approval of a contract with George, Miles & Buhr for architectural, engineering and construction-management aspects of the project.
The contract covers architectural and engineering services for the maintenance building and community center in the park, as well as management of the project as a whole. The council approved a $60,840 contract with George, Miles & Buhr for the services. Overall construction of the park will be done by AECOM.
The two firms worked together on the recent addition to the town hall. Despite considerable delays in the completion of that project, Botchie said, “I think it’s going to be a good marriage, if you will,” between the two companies for the park project.
Andrew Lyons Jr. and Morgan Helfrich of George, Miles & Buhr were on hand to go over the agreement with the council.
Vice-Mayor Steve Maneri also reported on Tuesday on the recent cleaning of a ditch on the park property, which was completed by volunteers and with the help of equipment provided by Clarke Droney. Maneri said two refuse bins were filled with brush and debris.