A proposal made two weeks ago to spend $65,000 on holiday lighting in downtown Highland Park was reduced to $50,000 by the Highland Park City Council today at its regularly scheduled meeting.
After Councilman David Naftzger expressed concern the cost of holiday lights was continuing to increase at the Council’s Sept. 9 meeting, the group asked the public works department to take a closer look at the budget. The result of the pencil sharpening was a $15,000 savings.
“We all need to be mindful of every item,” Naftzger said. “This is a good example of paying attention.”
Within the last two weeks, Councilwoman Alyssa Knobel has had conversations with several business owners. Management of Renaissance Place has agreed to add $5,000 to the program above the City’s share but other business owners did not make a commitment.
“The property owners have a very strong interest in the lighting,” Knobel said. She indicated it was a possibility they could add some funds of their own but there was no commitment.
Old Skokie Road, Renaissance Requests Draw Criticism
In two public hearings on separate subjects, those seeking relief were on the receiving end of criticism. A number of property owners in the Briergate Business District—an area around Old Skokie Road—balked at plans to establish a special service area increasing their property tax bill.
In a second public hearing, it was the Council itself that told Renaissance Place representative Christaine Fischer the property’s owners needed to be more forthcoming with financial information before the City agreed to lengthen the time it had to retire obligations to Highland Park.
Patch will have more detailed stories on all three of these subjects later this week.