BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — Community members in Buda are celebrating the start of Hanukkah with the city’s first menorah lighting.
In October, the city allowed a space for the menorah in the downtown area, but it would not fund the menorah as it does for other holiday decorations.
Since then, community organizers were able to get the money together. Now, a 9-foot tall menorah is on display.
City of Buda Parks and Recreation Director Greg Olmer said in October that “legal implications” and “the separation of church and state” wouldn’t allow the City to fund the menorah.
The City of Buda says menorah displays in other surrounding communities don’t use tax-payer dollars and are funded through separate community groups instead, which is true in Austin and San Marcos.
According to the City of Buda, on average it spends roughly $134,500 on costs related to holiday decorations including a tree with lights that are considered more secular, than religious. A part of these costs includes generators for electricity and labor for putting everything up.