Centre Street Holiday Decorations are Coming after Dealing with Shady Company

The American-made decorations have LED lights that consume less energy and will last longer than the alternatives.


Editor's note: The following is from state Rep. Ed Coppinger, D-West Roxbury.

Over the past few months, I have been working to raise money to purchase holiday decorations for our West Roxbury business districts. After some incredible support from the local business community and a fantastic fundraiser at the Irish Social Club, we successfully raised over $14,000. I am writing to update the community on what I have done and what I have left to do.

My hope was to use a company close to Massachusetts so I could at least visit them to make sure they were a good company with superior products. After searching, we kept coming back to a company in New York and had multiple conversations about what we had in mind for West Roxbury. At the last minute, we realized that they were the company that sold the previous holiday lights to West Roxbury Main Streets that failed after 5 years. 

Due to this realization, we were hesitant to use the company again. The company told us that there were voltage issues with the street lights on Centre Street that caused the lights to burn out. As a result, they had steered us away from the kind of decorations we wanted, but instead advised us to purchase decorations that did not light up.

Before we made any commitments, we spoke to City officials who researched the voltage fluctuation problems for us. They reported back that the lights are fed from different zones and the theory that all of the streetlights on Centre Street were the cause of the decorations failing was false.

We have since found a company in Pennsylvania that has done business with cities and town up and down the East Coast, including several in Massachusetts. We followed up on their references in Massachusetts and they came back with glowing reviews. We placed an order with this company and are waiting its arrival. The average price for the decorations is close to $400 each. These American-made decorations will have LED lights that consume less energy and will last longer than the alternative.

As you can see, at this price we couldn’t get enough decorations for every pole.  Our hope is to do a little bit over the next few years and put wreaths on poles that do not have other decorations. Our first Raise Some Green for West Roxbury Fundraiser was a huge success and people are still talking about it and are looking forward to next year.

Please, feel free to call me at 617-722-2080 or e-mail me at Edward.Coppinger@ma.house.gov if you have any questions.

Ed Coppinger

State Representative

10th Suffolk District

Susann Low November 30, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Do I not have enough caffeine surging through my veins this morning that my logic is off? I just can't seem to wrap my head around the hefty price--in this economy? Isn't it decorative enough to do the large balsam wreaths and big red bows per light pole? There are street lights up and down Centre so it's not as if the wreaths aren't visible. Wreaths and bows (for an 18" back metal ring) would cost about $8 per pole annually (not including the City cost to get them up via cherry picker truck). I'm not a Christmas crank--if my spouse would allow it we'd have a decorated tree in our living room year-round. I just have to question whether $400 a pop is really prudent. No, it's not my money but this just feels excessive; $14,000 is a fabulous windfall and could go quite far during a holiday season. I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin'.... less is more.
Joe Builder November 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Susann. Take a pill and get over yourself. People donated money for Christmas decorations. That is what they want. So keep your negative comments to yourself.
Joseph November 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Susann Live Wreaths are not reusable. I am sure Eddie wants to invest in something that can be reused year after year.
Stephen Smith November 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Susan, This money was raised mostly through donations of local residents & businesses. The decorations are not only for Centre Street but the West Roxbury Main Street districy which is Centre & Spring Streets. $14,000 may seem like alot for decorations but look at the area that needs to be covered and I had the fun job of counting telephone poles to see how many there were for the decorations (close to 200).I give Ed Coppinger alot of credit in taking the lead on this and we'll see the business district better decorated than it has ever been. He clearly did his research & I like the thought that the decorations use less energy and are American made
Amy DeLong November 30, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I agree with Stephen; I am proud that my neighborhood will display energy efficient, American made decorations.
Mary Mulvey Jacobson November 30, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Having worked on raising money and the installation of the Christmas lighting in West Roxbury since about 1981 up to the last five years when WRMS took it over, I know from experience that an wreath with a bow and no lights has little impact in an area where the light poles are generally very tall: fine, perhaps in the daytime but little impace at night. West Roxbury's scale is massive compared to some other business streets around. It takes a lot to give impact. I know that Ed is doing the right thing to begin the purchase of permanent lighting for West Roxbury and, unfortulately, this is what these things cost. One time, back in the 1980's I was charged with getting a multitude of bids for lighting up the street and one bid came in at 70 some odd thousand dollars......I think they must have thought we were Park Ave. in New York! I applaud Ed Coppinger for his leadership in getting the ball rolling on this. He is bringing fresh ideas and approaches to the table and I think that is great. I am happy to be one of the people working on this with him and look forward to seeing the fruits of our labor. Mary Mulvey Jacobson President West Roxbury Business and Professional Association
Steve Hurl November 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I think Susann's comment is worth considering. A different decoration scheme could look quite good and cost less. So many of us are passing thru Center St. in such a hurry we barely have time to look up anyway. At least Rep. Coppinger's office has done some pricing and research, so that might be something to build upon.
bostadelphian November 30, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Made in America, energy efficient Christmas lights and will last for years! Fantastic! I'm curious (the Pennsylvania company) if it's Bethlehem lights...as I've gotten a few holiday pieces and I've had them for years. They last & look great. I know they outfit alot of cities, towns & malls. Either way, I look forward to seeing the neighborhood festive during the holidays. Thanks. Merry Christmas!
Bellevue HillBilly November 30, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Great job Ed and the entire fundraising committee. The lights they will purchase will be something we can all be proud of. Perhaps Susann should have started her own fundraising effort for the decorations then she could be critical of what was purchased. Ed and the committee were the only one's to get this of the ground and bring back the lights to Center & Spring St. Great job and keep up the good work Ed.
Robin December 01, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I think it is reasonable to ask questions. How will the locations be chosen.? Any consideration about solar lights?
Dot System December 01, 2012 at 02:44 AM
"Before we made any commitments, we spoke to City officials who researched the voltage fluctuation problems for us." I don't know about you, but I was worried sick about the voltage fluctuation problem. Kept me tossing and turning all damn night. Breath easy, West Roxbury.
Judy Fitzgerald December 01, 2012 at 07:32 AM
Thanks for getting us decorations ED MARY AND all the rest of the committee. A big Hurrah for you guys !!!!!


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