Fireworks are one of the key elements to celebrating the Fourth of July for most Americans. Unfortunately, Craig, America, will likely not see any friendly explosions for this year’s Independence Day.
City budget constraints mean many financial adjustments, including not paying for the annual city fireworks show, said City Manager Jim Ferree.
“It was just part of a large number of cuts that were made,” he said.
The city usually sponsors the show; putting down $4,000, and Moffat County supports the fireworks by paying another $4,000. But, since the city’s budget is too tight this year, the county also had to back out. They couldn’t handle paying the full $8,000, said Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe.
“If Craig doesn’t have the funds to do it, we don’t have the funds to do the whole show either, and we don’t want to take over the whole show,” he said.
Grobe expressed disappointment, but said the current economy put the city in a bind, and tough decisions had to be made.
“It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is right now,” he said.
Craig Fire/Rescue is the agency in charge of the show, and members of the Craig Rural Fire District board also shared disappointment.
Fire Chief KC Hume said he hoped residents of Craig would find different means to share a fun July celebration, but hoped that some money could come together in time for Fire/Rescue to order the fireworks.
“At least in my involvement with the annual Fourth of July fireworks, we have not experienced a Fourth of July where we haven’t had fireworks,” he said. “Perhaps we can work together to find a solution to the financial piece.”
John Forgay, director on the fire board, suggested it could still go on if local community organizations pooled together some money for the fireworks display.
“If there was a chance that some organization were able to help with that amount (in time) for the fireworks to be ordered to have them here (we could) have a show. At this rate we’re not hopeful,” he said.
The fireworks order would need to be made by the third week in April, Hume said. Fire/Rescue couldn’t foot the bill; it’s been a city-led venture.
Hume is holding out a bit of hope, he said.
“I hope we can come together as a community and find some alternative funding source so we don’t have to forgo a fireworks celebration,” he said.
Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.