Budget cuts affect Christmas decorations

November 20, 2009 (Batavia, Ill.) Like many communities, financial troubles forced the town to cut its holiday decorating budget.

In the wake of budget cuts Batavia is trying to trim the tree without going in the red. City officials have decided to cut back on expenditures for holiday decorations. In an effort to save money and jobs, this year fewer Christmas lights, decorations, and banners will appear on streetlights in the business district.

"When you've got a community where people are being laid off work, you don't want to go out and spend an enormous amount of money on things. People could then say are lavishly expensive and you're trying to show the times," said Batavia Mayor Jeffrey Schielke.

This isn't stopping residents from taking matters into their own hands. A number of them are purchasing holiday decorations and putting them up in the storefronts that line the district.

"Our volunteers always step up to the plate. And I have no doubt that we'll have plenty of volunteers to light up our downtown," said Britta McKenna, Batavia Main Street Association.

"We want to celebrate and our businesses to prosper. And as a member of the Batavia Street Board we're very committed to a revitalization of this area and making it somewhere people want to come and spend time," said Jan Gibson, Batavia Resident.

Katrina's salon and spa in Batavia is already getting into the Christmas spirit. Workers are busy putting together an elaborate holiday window. Residents say they want people to get into a festive mood for the holidays and visit their town.

"We're not surprised the residents act the way they do and say this is something we can do ours so come out," said Bill McGrath, City Administrator.

Also cutting back are the towns of Aurora and Glen Ellyn. One town, Wheaton, will maintain its usual decorations with a huge holiday tree and parade.

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