BUDA, Texas (KXAN) – Members of the Buda community celebrate the start of Chanukah with the city’s first menorah lighting.
In October, the city authorized a space for the menorah in the city center, but it would not fund the menorah like it does for other holiday decorations.
Since then, community organizers have been able to raise the money. Now a 9 foot high menorah is on display.
Buda City Parks and Recreation Director Greg Olmer said in October that “the legal implications” and “the separation of church and state” would not allow the city to fund the menorah.
The city of Buda says menorah displays in other surrounding communities do not use taxpayer money and are instead funded by separate community groups, which is true in Austin and San Marcos.
According to the city of Buda, it spends an average of around $ 134,500 on costs related to Christmas decorations, including a tree with lights considered more secular than religious. Part of these costs include the generators for the electricity and the labor to install everything.