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No fireworks on 4th

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A tight budget year for both the city and county will mean no fireworks display this July 4.

Shelbyville and Bedford County have pooled their efforts in the past to sponsor a fireworks display at H.V. Griffin Park for Independence Day festivities.

But that won't be happening this year after the city council decided that $4,750 for their half of the contribution for the pyrotechnics is too much of an expense in this tight fiscal year.

Council member Jean Pruitt said that with the city pinching pennies, the display was something they did not need to do until next year.

Dill relayed that the county has apparently come to the same conclusion as well, with parks and recreation director Sylvia Pinson saying she had spoken to County Mayor Eugene Ray, who suggested skipping the display this year and then doing it in 2012 instead.

"I know people enjoy that," Pruitt said. "I know they do, but ..."

"But we're all in a cost cutting mode," said City Manager Michael Dill, finishing her statement.

Pinson said there would be no special activities in the park that day, but the recreation center would be open. She also said that would extend to the many American flags that are displayed in the park each summer as the 4th draws near.

Bugged by spray

Another item examined by the council was this year's purchase of mosquito spray.

Dill said this did not pertain to the pellets placed in drainage area and standing water to prevent the bugs from hatching, but the aerial spray utilized during the summer months.

Dill said that city purchaser Lori Sadler will have to place an order soon and the cost would be about $20,000 including labor. The city will still lay down the pellets, which cost $500 to $700, but the council's approval was needed for buying the spray.

Public works director Mark Clanton asked if the council wanted Sadler to get the process moving for the spray, saying that the item had already been budgeted.

About $15,300 is spent on the substance itself, with the remaining amount going to overtime and fuel for the three months the city uses it, Clanton explained.

Council member Jo Ann Holland asked Clanton what kind of health problems could arise if the city chose not to disperse the chemical this year.

Clanton said he "really can't answer that" but admitted there could be problems with health concerns since the bugs can carry the H1N1 and West Nile viruses.

Holland asked about the possibility of a cheaper spray, and Clanton said that was tried at one time, but the results "didn't really work out very well" and were not cost effective because they had to spray more to compensate for the watered down substance to get the job done.