The Village of Saugerties Christmas tree is set up in the Reis parking lot on Main and Market Streets, but Village trustees said Monday, November 7, that it was put up two weeks early and without informing the village government that it was being installed.
“It came two weeks early,” Mayor Bill Murphy said. He did not believe it when he was told the tree was there. His reaction was that it couldn’t be; it wasn’t supposed to come for two weeks. A picture on Facebook convinced him.
Trustee Donald Hackett said he hopes this is not an indication that the village “will not be like the mall, and start Christmas in September.”
“You go into Big Lots, they have Christmas decorations in September,” said Murphy. Trustee Terry Parisian added that “Christmas music started in the mall the day after Halloween.”
In another matter related to trees at the Reis parking lot, trustees discussed the damage the roots of a large tree growing in the lot is causing. “My goal would be in the spring to take down the tree that’s causing all the damage to the sidewalk and trim the other trees,” said Murphy.
Trustee Parisian said he had raised the issue because “I would rather spend $3,000 to remove the tree than face a million-dollar lawsuit.” The roots have raised the sidewalk enough so it could cause a tripping hazard.
Finally, the Knights of Columbus would like to place a nativity scene in the parking lot, Village Clerk Lisa Mayone said. There’s already a menorah there, so why not a nativity scene? asked trustee Vincent Buono. The village would not assume liability for the scene; if a decoration is damaged, it would be up to the sponsor to repair or replace it, Murphy said. In response to a question about whether the village would need to ask the Reis Group, Murphy said, “they give us carte blanche at Christmas.”