LOVINGTON — Residents of Lovington have noticed the bare light poles in the downtown area where Christmas decorations normally are — but with the changeover in leadership, the Lovington Chamber of Commerce said they originally weren’t able to find them.
At the City of Lovington Commission meeting Monday, board members from the Chamber addressed the commission in regards to the decorations, because Commissioner Scott Boldt, husband of the former Chamber director, Leslie Boldt, raised concerns over the missing decorations in the city.
Chamber treasurer Dee Ann Kimbro said due to lack of communication from past employees they have had to search for the missing decorations.
“We (Chamber) were searching for two to three months for them,” Kimbro said. “We found some behind the museum, but they were trashed.”
At the Lovington City Commission meeting Monday, Chamber board president David Munoz also told commissioners, about the deplorable condition of the decorations.
“Sixty percent of the lights no longer worked,” said Munoz. “I made the decision to not put any decorations up because I’m not going to put something up if it doesn’t look good.”
Munoz said he has been under verbal fire from residents who have called and complained about the lack of decorations.
Kimbro said it would be embarrassing for the city to put up the decorations they were able to locate.
“Those were in horrible condition,” Kimbro told the News-Sun Tuesday. “if we put up what we finally found just thrown out back, people would be embarrassed.”
Each year Lea County Electric Coop puts the decorations up on light poles in the downtown area. At the end of the season, they pull them down and leave them at the base of the pole for city or Chamber members to pick up, Kimbro explained.
Kimbro said she was told the Chamber also had a sleigh, but members still haven’t been able to locate it.
“We’re (Chamber) at a loss at this point as to where anything is, or where it’s gone to,” Kimbro told those in attendance at Monday’s meeting. “We were told some it was sold in an auction.”
Kimbro said the Chamber reviewed its contract with the city and found the City of Lovington was supposed to be giving them $5,000 a year toward decorations.
The Chamber hasn’t received those funds for years, board members said.
Commissioner Lizabeth White said the contract was worded in such a way that it said if there was money in the budget allowing the $5,000 to be paid for decorations to the the Chamber. White said the money hasn’t been paid to the Chamber since somewhere around 2011, but there wasn’t a detailed reason why.
Kimbro said next year the light parade will go down Love Street because of the road construction scheduled for Main Street at that time, so it would give the Chamber two years to fund raise and get ideas for the new decorations.
She also noted this year’s light parade had a record number of entries.
Munoz and Kimbro said the Chamber may even do a ballot for the residents to vote on for new decorations or possibly a sponsor a pole where the community can get involved.
Virginia Cunningham’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.