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story.lead_photo.caption FILE: The Holts Summit Board of Aldermen met Tuesday evening.

HOLTS SUMMIT, Mo. — The Board of Aldermen discussed details for the Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony during Tuesday's meeting.

With COVID-19 precautions, three Board of Aldermen members were in attendance and one via Zoom, with Ward 1 Council Member Sharon Schlueter leading the meeting.

The board approved a pay request for $705,986 in USDA funds towards the sewer project. On Monday, construction crews started pouring across Center Street and will soon finish on Halifax Road, City Administrator Hannah Lechner said. There will be an area at the crossing of Halifax and Nieman roads that will still need to be filled in.

"As far as cutting into the road, they are completely done with that," Lechner said.

After a number of other discussion points were reviewed, including a motion not to renew a contract with Aramark's services, the aldermen discussed a sale of assets of a vehicle sold for $11,500 which will be going to the City's reserve account for future payment on vehicles. Holts Summit Police Department Chief Kyle McIntyre said a few deer accidents have cost the Holts Summit Police Department repairs on their vehicles, so they have looked at installing push bumpers, which would be slightly more than $1,000 per vehicle. The board approved a motion to purchase one and "test the waters" on its use.

After a closed session, the board opened a discussion about a tree lighting ceremony and adjusting the annual Christmas parade due to COVID-19. The board was opposed to having two events and are looking at nixing the tree lighting ceremony in lieu of Christmas parade activities — Holts Summit Police Department Sgt. Brandon Ruediger brought up the "reverse parade" idea that neighboring Jefferson City used for homecoming activities.

With the neighboring middle and high schools transitioning to remote learning, they agreed on finding a way to bring an event for children who might be missing the social experience.

"Kids are so tired of not being around and having fun with their friends — that's one of the places they all meet," Ward 2 Alderwoman Susan Sundermeyer said.

The board also acknowledged rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the area.

After discussion on the difficulties on enforcing large gatherings per CDC guidelines, the board landed on the reverse parade idea, allowing cars to drive through the city in the evening as city government and police force members hand out candy.

The parade, centered around the original "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" theme, would be 4:30-6 p.m. and start at the intersection of City Plaza and South Summit Drive, with floats lined up on the east side of the road and officers directing traffic. They will be working with local businesses to fundraise, and the police department will identify the safest routes to direct the parade.

"You pick a road, we'll make it happen," Chief McIntyre said. Similar events, he said — like their drive through Trunk or Treat event Oct. 31 — have seen similar success.

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