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BPU Director Chris McArthur awards employees from Nash Drugs with the First Place Prize for the business cat­egory in last year’s Holiday Light Contest. Courtesy | Olivia Jones

Res­i­dents in Hillsdale won’t need to dec­orate their homes like Clark Griswold to reg­ister for the Hillsdale Board of Public Util­ities’ Holiday Light Contest. With the Christmas season quickly approaching, BPU is giving res­i­dents an incentive for dec­o­rating their houses with its annual Holiday Light Contest.

BPU will award three prizes to both business and res­i­dential sec­tions in the form of a credit toward their next BPU bill: $100 credit for first place, $75 for second place, and $25 for third place. The main require­ments to qualify for these prizes are that res­i­dents need to enter the contest and must be a current BPU cus­tomer.

Olivia Jones, an assessing tech­nician at BPU, is in her first year man­aging the project and said she’s excited about the contest. “It’s a way for BPU to go out and see the cus­tomers that it sup­plies energy to,” Jones said. “I think it’s really important to see who you are dealing with and to get to know faces and names.”

To enter, res­i­dents must submit their name, address, and phone number to ojones@cityofhillsdale.org or via phone at (517) 437‑6455 by Monday, Dec. 2. 

Jones will take pic­tures of the dec­o­rated houses on Wednesday, Dec. 4 beginning at 5:30 p.m. And the com­munity will decide the winner by the number of likes each photo receives on the City of Hillsdale Facebook page. An official public viewing will take place on Dec. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. and voting will be open from Dec. 9 to 13. The contest will con­clude with the announcement of the winner on Dec. 18.

Hillsdale BPU Director Chris McArthur said this event is a great way to give back to the com­munity. “Being a public power utility, a lot of people don’t realize that we are a non­profit,” McArthur said. “Your rates coming into us pays for oper­ating and the rest goes right back into the com­munity and the system.”

Jones also said she enjoys col­lab­o­rating with com­munity members because it helps cit­izens build a rela­tionship with gov­ern­mental workers. “I think that it is important for us to col­lab­orate with the com­munity members because it makes us more real­istic people. Being more per­sonable with the people is very important so that they become com­fortable with coming us for other needs that the city does provide,” Jones said. “It shows them that we are people as well and that we can have a little fun during the hol­idays.”