DDA considers new decorations

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Alpena Downtown Development Executive Director Anne Gentry puts up a wreath at the DDA office Thursday. She said new decorations are being considered for downtown, but because of their cost it will take some time to raise the needed money.

ALPENA — The Alpena Downtown Development Authority and City of Alpena have begun coming up with ideas and plans that may lead to new Christmas decorations for the downtown and city.

The current decorations and wreaths are getting older and likely will need to be replaced before too long.

DDA Executive Director Anne Gentry said the city stores the current decorations and pays its employees to put them up and take them down. She said that it is costly, so it is unlikely to pay much to help cover the cost of new decorations. She said there are other ways the money can be raised, however.

“We can use crowd-funding resources, as well as maybe fundraise locally,” Gentry said. “Industrial strength wreaths are expensive, but they will also last many years.”

Gentry said she spoke with one holiday decoration company and it said it would cost about $80,000 for 110, large, heavy duty wreaths to put on the light posts in the city.

The goal is to find a way to raise the money and have the new decorations up in time for the Christmas season next year. Gentry said because of the cost, putting up new decorations in phases around the city in a multi-year plan is something being considered.

Gentry said there have been many improvements made to the downtown and decorations, flowers and art are more prevalent than ever. She said new holiday decorations will continue that trend and help Alpena become more attractive to people who live in it and those who visit.

“As our downtown and community grows, so does the sense of pride we have in how we perceive it,” she said. “I think our decorations show how we perceive ourselves as a community and a downtown and decorations is something important to invest in.”

Gentry said there will be more discussion on the project at the DDA meeting Tuesday. The meeting is at 3 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.