December 2, 2021

Decorations to return to downtown Cortland

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

A pedestrian walks down Main Street last Friday past unadorned street poles.

With only 20 days left until Christmas, piney wreath decorations are expected to go up on light poles along Main street any time now.

The decorations will take the form of 22-inch diameter wreaths costing about $16 apiece. The city Common Council voted unanimously to buy wreaths — decorated with a red bow, pine cones and berries — for decorations, but not to exceed $900.

Alderwoman Michelle Mastropolo (D-1st Ward) was absent.

Around 50 light posts run along Main Street, decorated with banners from summer.

Ski Cortland banners have gone up as well.

Funding will come from the 2018 general fund.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Alderman William Carpenter (D-5th Ward). “It’s a temporary fix so we can worry about next year, but I think it’s a good idea. We have to get color on this, we’ve got to have something.”

The discussion on the decorations Tuesday night followed two others from November.

Alderwoman Katy Silliman (D-2nd-Ward) was put in charge of looking into the decorations. “If you want to go small, you want to go classy,” she has said.

During a previous discussion on the decorations, the council decided not to buy decorations from the Cortland Downtown Partnership — prices ranging from $200 to $250 a decoration.

In past years the city worked with the Downtown Partnership to decorate downtown.

“In the past we purchased them (decorations) for the city to use,” said Partnership Executive Director Adam Megivern. The city would hang the decorations. “It had been a really nice partnership,” he said.

Megivern said Tuesday that had changed following a decision by council in December 2017 to do its own decorations.

“They would take on the role of purchasing as well,” he added.

Festive decorations have also not been entirely absent with the city’s tree-lighting ceremony happening the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, funded through a $10 million state grant, would cover seasonal decorations, Mayor Brian Tobin has said. However, that money, a total of $80,000, would not be used this year.

An exact date for hanging the decorations was not given, but they are expected to go up right away.