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According to the Associated Press, Hutchinson will turn darker this Christmas season. And that should come as good news to Great Bend, right?
And here’s why: It’s time for Kansas communities to understand that we are all in this challenge to survive and to thrive together.
Oh, sure, there’s a certain amount of competition between communities, but if Hutchinson is so strapped for funds that it can’t afford to keep up its downtown Christmas lighting, that is not good for Kansas, and it bodes ill for other state communities.
As the AP story noted: “A lack of money for repairs means only part of the 10,000 feet of Christmas lights strung along the downtown buildings will be turned on this year.
“The lights were first erected in 1997. In recent years, a downtown group has spent about $2,500 a year to repair the lines and replace bulbs.
“There’s no money budgeted this year for maintaining the lights. So that means lights along only a small sections of both sides of Main Street will be turned on this year.”
People are going to travel to shop, especially during the holiday season, for fun and relationship building, if nothing else. They are looking for things to do with friends and family and that is one of them. What our community needs to do is make certain that we have enough to offer to attract people into our shopping district, as well as to insist on a level of service from our local firms that insures that even local shoppers would prefer to stay at home, where they know they will get the best treatment.
But it is defeatist to argue with people who go for a drive to do a little Christmas shopping.
We should be concerned that Hutch doesn’t have the money to fix its lights, and hope that they, and every other Kansas community, will be able to make the season as bright and cheery as possible — and make certain that we do the same here at home.
Only better.
— Chuck Smith