FLEMINGTON, NJ – It’s official. Flemington’s colorful, oversized Christmas balls can now call the borough their home.
The ornaments had faced an uncertain future when Flemington Community Partnership – in an effort to limit its fixed costs – decided it didn’t want to pay the $600 annual fee to install and store the decorations.
FCP acquired the orbs along with the other assets of the Flemington Business Improvement District, the management group that previously managed the district. Officials “de-designated” the FBID in February and then created FCP, prompting the change.
FBID paid Rileighs Outdoor Décor in Allentown, Pa. $4,000 for the balls. FCP Executive Director Judy Goodwin had proposed returning them to Rileighs in exchange for company installing them one more time this year, and waiving this year’s fees.
A groundswell of enthusiasm for the balls on Facebook prompted Goodwin to ask FCP stakeholders if perhaps FCP should keep them after all.
FCP stakeholders – the owners of businesses and residential properties of five apartments or more that are located within the improvement district – offered “overwhelming feedback in support of keeping the ball stacks” at their meeting yesterday, Goodwin said.
Karl Lackemacher has volunteered to be the caretaker of the decorations, Goodwin said. He’ll store and install them “for us at no cost.”
"It takes a village,” said Goodwin. Her message to Lackemacher: “We are lucky that you are a part of ours.”
Goodwin also thanked former Borough Councilman Alan Brewer, who asked at the Dec. 13 Council meeting if there might be way to keep the ornaments in the borough after this year’s Christmas season.