Get Lit, LLC says the City of Conway will not be charged for the company to take down the 54-foot artificial Christmas tree that made a home in Rogers Plaza this holiday season.
Get Lit announced the agreement in a news release Thursday.
“Details are being worked out, but we are anticipating the takedown to be done by the end of next week,” the release states. “Although we believe that any electrical issues with the tree itself and the electrical supply to Rogers Plaza have been resolved, Get Lit will be bringing the tree back to its facility in Springdale for a thorough inspection and any necessary warranty repairs.”
The announcement comes one week after Get Lit informed city officials in a Jan. 9 teleconference that Conway would be responsible for hard costs such as lodging, meals and labor of Get Lit employees. Get Lit and city officials planned to further negotiate the cost to disassemble the tree.
In a phone interview with the Log Cabin Democrat on Thursday afternoon, Get Lit Chief Operations Officer Summer Hull confirmed the tree would be taken down at no cost to the city, including Get Lit employees’ lodging, meals and labor.
“The original contract said Get Lit would not be taking down the tree, and [Conway officials] have confirmed that” Hull said. “This is Get Lit coming to Conway on its own dime, with its own staff to take [the tree] down.”
Since the Conway City Council approved the $130,000 holiday purchase and waived competitive bids in August, the tree, believed to be the largest in the state, has been met with skepticism and displeasure from several residents.
The feelings grew when sections of the tree’s lights failed. Since, Get Lit has blamed water and vandals for problems with the lighting. It is because of those issues Get Lit agreed to take the tree back to Springdale for an inspection after it was taken down.
The company said Thursday that Conway officials would have the opportunity to inspect the tree, in operation, before it is returned.
“Get Lit will also be available to consult with the city on measures that can be taken in the future to prevent vandalism to the tree,” the release states.
Get Lit Chief Executive Officer Jason Hull said in the release the project has been “very high profile” and that the company takes “a lot of pride in every project we do.”
“It’s unfortunate that there were issues both within and outside of our control that took longer than we would have wanted to get sorted out,” Hull said in the release. “However, we value the City of Conway as a customer and a partner and that is why we’ve gone to great lengths to make sure that our product worked as intended, even to the extent of fixing non-warranty issues at no charge.”
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan.)