Safety more important than cantata decorations
RUSSELLVILLE -- When the Red Cross asked Russellville for emergency contact information last month, they wanted to be sure a building would be available if it was needed.
The community center, paid for partially by a grant that specified it could be used for an emergency, is that building, but the area of the facility that would be used for emergency relief was full of Christmas decorations.
The Browns Valley Christian Church annually puts on a Christmas Cantata in the community center and had permission from the building to store decorations there.
As the town was clearing up details with the Red Cross, they discovered many parts of the building, including the shower area, to be completely inaccessible.
Council President Don Reddish said he has been getting grief around town because of an incorrect belief that he wanted to force the cantata out.
"We're all for the cantata," Reddish said, "but the fact is we need to keep that shower area clean."
As a compromise the town council agreed to allow the church to put up a storage facility on town property.
The church would have to pay for the facility, but the town will take care of the grass and area around it.
The stipulation is that the storage building must not be permanent.
The church had a meeting to discuss the issue earlier this week and is still considering the offer.
The cantata, an orchestral and choir performance, has been a vital part of the community's celebration for many years.
The event is often highlighted by the Community Christmas Choir, which was formed 10 years ago when three small churches -- Browns Valley, Freedom Baptist and Parkersburg Christian -- united their small choirs into a single group.