It’s the grinch who usually tries to steal holiday cheer from local celebrants, but this year, it’s a batch of bad lights that tried to take away the winter shine from downtown Glencoe.
Glencoe Village Manager Phil Kiraly told trustees during their Thursday, Sept. 21 meeting that he will need to add a resolution to next month’s agenda that will ratify the purchase of thousands of new holiday lights for the village.
Glencoe must again purchase new lights because the thousands of lights the village received for the season, which were set to debut this holiday season, were the wrong ones.
The village last year committed to transitioning all of what Kiraly described as “the many, many, tens of thousands of lights” in downtown Glencoe from incandescent to LED.
Village staff had already started preparations for the yearly holiday lights but, during that process, discovered that several thousands of the lights the village ordered for this year were different shades of white with varying lumen levels.
“We are now in a situation where we have some quick acting to do in order to be able to ensure that everything is ready for the Thanksgiving weekend, which is when the lights are officially turned on,” Kiraly told the board.
Because the village will need to obtain the lights rather quickly, Kiraly said it would be too late if staff waited until the October board meeting for approval.
Thus, the village plans to move forward with ordering $49,900 worth of lights — a dollar amount that requires Village Board approval. The confirming resolution will allow staff to order the lights as soon as possible and get approval at next month’s meeting.
“If we waited until the October board meeting, there’s no way public works would have enough time to get all those lights out on trees in the one remaining month that we would have,” Kiraly said.
Kiraly noted that Glencoe had previously budgeted $50,000 for the project and initially did not anticipate needing to exceed the village manager’s spending authority. The village now needs more lights that are harder to get as well, according to Kiraly.
Glencoe can recoup a portion of the cost as the village returns the incorrect lights, Kiraly said.
The transition to LED lights includes several benefits, officials said at the meeting.
“One of the myriad benefits of moving from incandescent to LED is not only they are vastly more energy efficient but they also have a significantly longer life,” Kiraly said, estimating that the village will have about eight times more life on the LEDs.
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.