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Fire Department takes on Creitz Park light display

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

CAMBRIDGE CITY — The Cambridge City Fire Department will take over the Winter Wonderland light show in Creitz Park.

Western Wayne Affordable Housing started the display for the 2007 Christmas season with 32 separate displays. Over the years, the project expanded. Western Wayne Affordable Housing approached the town about taking on the project.

“I think it is good for the community and people talk about them,” Debbie McGinley, council vice president, said. “People come here from miles around to eat and enjoy the lights. I enjoy talking to the people as I stand out there and collect money and it’s amazing how far they would drive. I would hate to lose it.”

Town attorney Bob Bever said the Fire Department is being offered all the decorations for $20,000. 

Through the years, the decorations cost $180,000 and Western Wayne Affordable Housing is selling them at a lower cost so the display stays in Cambridge City, he said. Annual expenses are $300-$400 for electricity, installing electrical boxes and about $300 to replace bulbs, he said. 

The average donation receipts are about $3,500 a year. 

“We’re looking for a fundraiser that has been established, something we could build on,” said Fire Chief Jeff Gabbard. “The goal is to raise money to put a building up behind the fire station for storage.”

The council approved the purchase on behalf of the fire department. Councilman Mark McCarty, who is president of Western Wayne Affordable Housing, abstained from voting.

The council also approved joining with the Cambridge City Chamber of Commerce to provide downtown WiFi downtown for $360 a year for five years. The chamber will pay half. It purchased the equipment from the New Lisbon Broadband Co.

The council approved the low bid of Powell Paving for $33,991 for three projects: Church Street from Walnut Street to the west, an alley between Shawnee Avenue and Parkway Drive, and a new road at Riverside Cemetery.