By Sarah Richardson
The Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting of the Lewisburg City Council brought forth a sad announcement from the Shanghai Committee- the annual Shanghai Parade had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
“We have gotten news from the Shanghai Committee that they have decided to cancel the parade. It is heartbreaking, to say the least, that we won’t have a Shanghai Parade, but I don’t know, maybe we will have it later on, we’ll see as this goes on,” said Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White.
City Manager Misty Hill noted that with the parade’s cancellation, the city would like to do something special, but also safe, for the holiday season. “I just hate the disappointment in the children more than anything, so I’ve come up with a solution that I hope works out and that I hope council likes,” Hill said. “I would like to see if the emergency vehicles could do a parade, and we are going to escort Santa Claus to the North Pole. What we are going to do is have a route so that all the children won’t be lined up downtown. We can put the route and the time out on social media and in the papers, that way it won’t just be downtown, but the kids could still see Santa Claus. Fire Chief Joey Thomas has even discussed the idea of a candy shoot. We are really trying to be strategic to the kids, and bring the spirit of Christmas out for everyone.”
Council unanimously supported the idea, and details are being worked out to see when it will be best to escort Santa back up to the North Pole in time for Christmas.
“The sooner we can get that going, the better possibility we have of being able to work with Santa’s busy schedule,” noted Councilmember Arron Seams. More information will be available at a later date.
Mayor White also noted the transformation of downtown for the Magic of Christmas in Lewisburg event, adding, “Wow, what can I say about downtown Lewisburg for Christmas Magic? It is absolutely gorgeous. I hope people will take it in during the evening so they can see all the lights, and also shop local.”
In other news:
The process of acquiring and installing automatic door locks on public bathrooms continues after another string of vandalism at Dorie Miller Park. “They ripped off the toilet paper dispenser, the paper towel dispenser, and the sink off the wall in the bathrooms,” said Hill. “Even though we are locking up the bathrooms hopefully soon for the winter, we would like to do some trial runs.”
The locks will be installed on public bathrooms at Hollowell Park, Dorie Miller Park, and the facilities outside of City Hall. They will be on automatic timers to lock at the end of the day. If someone is inside they will still be able to get out, but the door would lock behind them. Hersman’s Safety Products will handle the installation, and the total cost is estimated to be roughly $1,900.
The city also announced their participation in Extra Mile Day, a day set aside to recognize “citizens that go the extra mile in personal effort, volunteerism, and service.” Spearheaded by Extra Mile America, Extra Mile Day helps recognize individuals, organizations, and groups that strive to make a difference by going above and beyond the call of duty. Mayor White proclaimed Nov. 1 to be Extra Mile Day to highlight these efforts.
Fire Chief Joey Thomas with the Lewisburg Police Department updated the council on the process of upgrading the radios for both the police department at the fire department. Their current radios range in age from eight to 20 years old and span over several different makes and models. Due to their age, parts are no longer available and they are difficult to repair. The total cost will come to roughly $300,000 to completely update the radios for both departments, with the cost being split between the two departments.
Lewisburg Police Chief Teubert announced that the police department has received a new police cruiser and body cams on Nov. 9, and they plan to be in use by Jan. 2021.
The 2020 holiday schedule for the city was approved as follows: Nov. 26, Nov. 27, Dec. 24, and Dec. 31 will be holiday days for city employees.