Published On: Thu, Dec 1st, 2016

Bah, Humbug: New Hope Officials Decide to Skip Holiday Decorating this Year

New Hope Free PressWhile many New Hope businesses and households are busy decorating for the holiday season, New Hope’s municipal leadership has apparently decided to sit this Christmas out, and not install the borough’s traditional collection of illuminated snowflakes, wreathes, and small banners on utility poles and lamp posts throughout town.

The reason? Borough officials point to an apparently routine letter received last spring from energy company PECO reinforcing its longstanding policy prohibiting third parties from interfering with their electrical poles.

“The borough removed what we had on the poles, and will not be rehanging anything on those structures,” acknowledged a spokesperson for Borough Hall.

Besides breathtaking merchant display, the borough usually installs illuminated snowflakes (foreground) and small banners (background).

Besides breathtaking merchant displays, the borough usually installs illuminated snowflakes (foreground) and small banners (background pole).

“Safety is our number one priority, and not only at holiday time,” explained PECO Spokesperson Ben Armstrong. “We don’t allow anyone to hang anything from our poles for the safety of our employees, who in many cases have to climb the pole, and can be impeded in their ability to climb, even when decorations are taken down. Staples and nails left behind create hazards for our workers’ hands and boots.

“We would not do anything to compromise the safety of our employees,” Armstrong continued, noting that even plastic twist ties and tape can be dangerous. “Our number one focus is safety — for our employees and customers.”

The PECO spokesperson said that the company’s service trucks routinely check for signs of dangerous conditions as they travel about, like unauthorized attachments, but did not point to any intensified enforcement effort.

In fact, a quick, random check of nearby municipalities revealed most to have already installed some type of decoration or be involved in their planning.

So, isn’t failing to spruce up Bucks County’s most popular tourist destination for the holidays a major problem for the local economy?

One of New Hope's vintage wreaths in storage this year.

One of New Hope’s vintage wreaths left in storage this year.

“This has not been discussed by the Borough Council since I have been here, and of course I don’t know what was discussed earlier in the year, so I’m afraid I can’t help you,” said New Hope’s official spokesperson.

But the borough controls other, non-PECO light poles, and phone poles that don’t carry electricity, and poles they seem to share with PECO, as well. Will the borough consider putting up holiday decorations on these other poles? Has the borough considered any other options, like some type of waiver of liability? Can we somehow get some official decorations up, aside from the wonderful displays created by residents and businesses like Savioni Designer Boutique and the Studio?

As of Thursday, Borough Hall wasn’t saying.

 

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- “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein

Displaying 6 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. homebrewerhead@yahoo.com' Grinch says:

    The problem with Boards, committees is that they try to please everyone and they end up not pleasing anyone through inaction.

  2. mergingmusicinc@gmail.com' John Danaher says:

    “While many New Hope businesses and households are busy decorating for the holiday season, New Hope’s municipal leadership has apparently decided to sit this Christmas out, and not install the borough’s traditional collection of illuminated snowflakes, wreathes, and small banners on utility poles and lamp posts throughout town.”
    NOTE: This is totally erroneous and NOT true. 1. It is against PECO’S ownership of utilities poles law…..NO POSTING OR HANGING ANYTHING. 2. Just because it has been done in the past does not make it right. PECO has spoken and we must adhere. There is no reason we can’t hang wreaths etc. from our own light poles, bridges etc. Random Acts of Volunteerism will take an active part in pursuing this line of thinking.
    Do not blame the town officials for following the law. i.e.. Does this sound familiar?
    And NO, the town does NOT control any other utility poles. And NO, there are no insurance waivers of liability etc.
    I for one would love to put up posters for WinterFestival but we are not allowed.
    On that note I would ask why the owner or the Starbucks bldg. refuses to allow me to put up a secure banner for WinterFestival saying it was an insurance liability. Our banner is 2′ x 6′. But somehow flying the Gay Pride flag 8′ x 12′ is just fine. THAT is just wrong.
    So please spend more time coming up with solutions and less time criticizing.
    Signed…The Voice of Reason.

    • mergingmusicinc@gmail.com' John Danaher says:

      Just one question.
      Boro Council knew about this problem last summer.
      WHY is this NOW a concern 2 weeks before Christmas?
      The Intel quotes Boro Council President as “Only hearing of this 2 weeks ago”.
      This just does noted up.

    • pottrjoel@aol.com' Mugman says:

      John, you are such a downer and such a “law and order” guy. Did you vote for Trump? It took our mayor, standing up for marriage equality to force change to allow gays to marry their pets…no…partners didn’t it? I say we turn this into a national issue and force PECO to rescind this stupid…but legal…policy…fly in the face of injustice and bad policy and “BAN the damn PUMP…no…POLE” I know, lets dump tea into the Delaware and cut down all the poles…SABOTAGE! just kidding folks!

  3. tomwhalleydhx@yahoo.com' Tom Whalley says:

    “Has the borough considered any other options…..”

    Good one Charlie…you’re a funny man!! I laugh because this is just pathetic.

  4. Aa@yahoo.com' Double A says:

    I’m at at a loss…every year gets worse with these lamos. Can we just outsource our local govt to that of Lambertville which has shown nothing but competence in eating our lunch on every level?

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