"Old Blue" Christmas Tree to be AXED

Preserving or destroying the Past!

By: Pat Hunter

At first glance, it looks like a postcard scene of vintage Americana, a historic Loudon Courthouse, Water Fountain and a lighting post, and a beautiful, stately Blue Spruce Christmas tree.

It seems like old traditions are quickly dying in our community just ask Loudon City Fathers and our business community leaders. Its hard too imagine the unthinkable, plans are currently underway to cut down "Old Blue" Christmas Tree and in the process renovate the Loudon Fountain. For years, this grand Blue Spruce has been admired by children, adults, residents and visitors.

Blue Spruce trees are not native to Tennessee and take a long time to reach the height of Loudon's Blue Spruce. With its silvery-blue needles, its pyramidal shape, beauty and presence, makes the Blue Spruce a classic choice for a Christmas tree.

At the Jan 24th, Loudon County Economic Development Agency (EDA) Board meeting an update was given about the Fountain Revitalization Project in downtown historic Loudon City. Businessman Grayling Littleton is interested in revitalizing the Loudon City Fountain project and he plans to pledge $10,000 for the match portion of the project. Littleton wants to help the city out, Kathy Knight, EDA assistant director commented. She asked that Littleton be recognized for his efforts. According to EDA Director Pat Phillips, another donor is considering giving money for the Fountain renovation, $5000 one year and another $5000 the following year. For the time being, Phillips wants to keep the donor's name anonymous.

EDA board member Lynn Mill (Loudon Utility manager/Loudon City manager) shared some details about the Loudon Fountain renovation. According to Mills, the old fountain will be removed completely and a new filtering system and pump will be installed and "take out the Christmas Tree." Mayor Inky Swiney exclaimed, that'll be a fight! Mills continued, a new sign and pole will also be installed and new landscaping. Kathy Knight quickly interjected, she explained that there would be space reserved for a Christmas tree because of the "issue". She and EDA Chairman, County Mayor Doyle Arp have talked about incorporating the Courthouse area at Christmas time to do some things.

Preserving or destroying the past in any form is often a contentious issue. Imagine, cutting down the beautiful old stately Blue Spruce Christmas tree in downtown Historical Loudon and replacing it with something new, somewhere else, all in the name of PRESERVATION and PROGRESS!

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EDA Meeting 01-24-2008