Twenty-five Southampton Village-owned trees along Jobs Lane and Main Street have been wrapped in white lights, to be illuminated throughout the holiday season, and now business owners on other downtown streets are wondering why their sidewalks haven't been included in this exercise of holiday cheer.
“Some businesses on Hill Street, Hampton Road and Nugent Street want us to add the lights,” Mayor Mark Epley said Wednesday. The has raised the money to pay for the lights, while the village is footing the bill for electricity, he explained. Before lighting the trees, the village applied to the Long Island Power Authority for holiday lighting, and now it is too late to get approval from LIPA for lighting the additional streets, according to the mayor.
For more lighting to be added now, the merchants would have to plug in to their own electricity sources, rather than village outlets, Epley said. He said the village will discuss it will merchants, with the understanding that they will have to cover all expenses. He said some business owners may have an issue with this, wanting the village to be consistent and pay for electricity the same way it is doing for Jobs Lane and Main Street.
Through the village's Christmas Decorations Committee, 150 small Christmas trees, wrapped in colored lights, are in the process of being installing throughout the village, Epley said. These trees and lights are paid for with money raised by the Christmas Decorations Committee, he said.
While the Christmas trees and colored lights are removed at the end of the season, the white lights stay up year round, Epley said. About three-quarters of the 25 trees lighted now are using the same lights as last year, to keep costs down, he said. Jim Frankenbach of Southampton Christmas Lights, who strung the lights, said some of the existing tree lights just needed repairs.
An idea that has been floated in the village in recent years, to light the trees on summer nights, will only happen if LED lights are used instead, because they use much less electricity then the conventional lighting, Epley said.