Snowflake lights come back

Alyssa Coleman, Opinions Editor

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The Festival of Lights is approaching Richland Township, Geistown Borough and Stonycreek Township and is to debut new snowflake lights this holiday season.

At their Oct. 15 meeting, the Richland Township supervisors agreed to contribute $5,000 to purchase new lights 

The lights are to hang on utility poles along Scalp Avenue and Bedford Street from the Paint Township line to the Johnstown city line in Stonycreek Township’s Oakland neighborhood.

Richland Township Supervisor Gary Paul said the goal is to get around 70 to 80 new snowflake lights, but he said he doesn’t think that goal will be reached.

“We want to switch all of the old lights to LED ones,” Paul said.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to replace them all, but, if we replace half of them, I’ll be happy.”

The cost for each light is $420. It would cost around $33,600 to replace all 80 lights.

Paul said the Highland Regional Park board is in charge of putting up the lights each year, which he says are supposed to be hung up by Penelec workers around Thanksgiving weekend.

A Penelec representative did not respond to a request for comment in time.

“They have around $10,000 right now,” Paul said. 

“We (supervisors) are contributing $5,000 toward the lights, Geistown Borough (council members) donated around $450, Atlas Realty along Eisenhower Boulevard donated around $2,100 and the rest was donated by local businesses.”

A Sept. 24 Highland Regional Park Inc. Facebook post explaining the intention to purchase new lights asked residents to donate as well.

The post says an order  must be placed no later than Oct. 31.

Paul, who is on the Highland Park Recreation board of directors, saidpeople compliment the lighting decorations.

“We get compliments on them every Christmas,” Paul said. “Every municipality has them or something like them.”

Paul said the snowflakes are something Highland Park has been putting up for almost two decades.

“The committee has been putting up these snowflakes for 17 or 18 years,” Paul said.

“Sometimes the weather gets so bad that they can’t be taken down until almost Valentine’s Day. That’s why snowflakes were chosen instead of Santas or snowmen, so they can stay up longer.”

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