At Tuesday night’s Conway City Council meeting, the aldermen voted unanimously to waive competitive bids and purchase a 54-foot Christmas tree and holiday decor for Rogers Plaza.
The ordinance stated the cost of the decor was “not to exceed $130,000” and that the money would be provided from the Parks A&P monies.
Mayor Tab Townsell said part of that cost is sales tax that the city will get back. He also said the city — along with the A&P Commission — saved $80,000 on the expected cost of Rogers Plaza.
“We will go to the A&P Commission this meeting in September and ask them if they would like to join us in splitting the cost of this on the same pro rata basis that we split Rogers Plaza,” he said. “They may not. This was set up such so we could do this by ourselves, but we’re going to ask them if they would like to participate with us. If that’s the case, we’re already $80,000 to the good of our expenses.”
The city will be utilizing Get Lit from Springdale, Ark. to purchase the tree.
Representatives from Get Lit at the meeting said the 54-foot tree would be the largest tree in Arkansas to their knowledge and would be seen from I-40. It would also be expandible in future years.
The tree is pre-lit with LED lights, which could reflect the color palette of “Get Smart Green” to make it unique to Conway.
The tree will be made of 8,000 lbs. of steel and will be available to the city in early November. For the first year, Get Lit employees will train city staff on how to assemble the tree.
Get Lit will also help the city make contact with the Arkansas Trail of Lights to make sure Conway is a stop listed for the holidays.
Townsell said after the meeting competitive bids were waived because of time constraints.
(Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1212. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)