PARK CITY – The Independence Day ice cream social, barbecue and fireworks in Park City is on for Saturday, but the plan will be different for next year.
This year's celebration begins at Bell's Tavern Park at noon, with ice cream ready around 1 p.m. and fireworks at dark.
As he was making the announcement for the event at the end of Monday's Park City Commission meeting, Mayor Larry Poteet said he'd learned this past week the commissioners are responsible for blocking off where people cannot park to keep them a safe distance from the fireworks and for cleaning up the debris from the fireworks the following day.
He said he has not has a chance to speak the gentleman who does the fireworks show to see how long he's willing to continue doing it at the same price, and he said the city couldn't continue to do it if it didn't have some funding from other sources for it.
“This is a $2,500 hit for 20-minute show,” Poteet said. “$2,500 could go a long way of doing other things for the city that we could request that funding for.”
He said the money taken up that day is distributed to veterans and children with needs, and he expressed thanks to Phillip Crews, who was in the audience, for what he'd gotten started and said it was “a great thing.” Poteet said this year, seniors were getting involved with helping with the ice cream social, “and that's a big plus.”
“I've been kicking it around. I'd like to see us, instead of doing the fireworks next year, have a veterans parade on that day, that morning,” the mayor said.
Most of the veterans who attend are not staying or coming back to watch the fireworks, and Diamond Caverns has a show, which was Saturday, he said. A business at Cave City has a show there, not the city government, and Glasgow doesn't do one, but there is a show at Barren River Lake State Resort Park, he said.
“I'm just looking at saving money that we could use somewhere else to get more bang for our buck,” Poteet said, naming a few things they could have purchased with the money that instead goes toward the fireworks. “There's a of things we could have used that for.”
He said he thought the veterans would enjoy seeing a parade, and he suggested a route from school to the park.
“That way the veterans can [see] that we're all out for them,” Poteet said. “If we can't honor them, we can't honor nobody. … If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have a park over there to set up to feed them. We wouldn't be able to do stuff like that.”
Commissioner Rodney Good echoed that Diamond Caverns has a show, “and that ought to be good enough. … As long as they're doing it, I don't think it's an issue, but I'm one person.”
Poteet said having two shows in town creates double duty for the fire department as well.
Commissioner Vonn Parsley said the fireworks are good and it draws a lot of people, “but I have thought for some time now that it was a little bit more of an expense than we could do when we're really scrutinizing the budget, trying to balance it. Like you said, that money could be used for handicapped-[accessible] playground equipment that would be enjoyed all year.”
Poteet said the seniors could stay at the senior center and have their ice cream social the morning of the parade instead of carrying it over the pavilion. He said Cave City's parade for the Fourth of July is growing in size, but it's not until the afternoon, so the fire departments from the two cities could still participate in each other's parades.
"I know there's going to be some pros and cons, but I believe once it gets started, it'll be a great thing," he said.
Ultimately, Parsley made the motion to dispense with the fireworks next year and start having a parade instead on the first Saturday of July along with the Crews Barbecue Veterans Benefit, with Shawn Hayden providing the second, and the vote was unanimous, with Commissioner Chad Hogan absent.
Other business during the meeting included:
• The commission unanimously approved proposed amendments to the interlocal agreement for the Barren County Economic Authority that is among Barren County Fiscal Court and the three incorporated cities in the county, after brief comments from Poteet explaining that the main change was that elected officials could serve as voting members now. Park City has one nonvoting member, the mayor, because at this point it does not contribute financially. The voting members are appointed by the other three governmental entities.
• The commission agreed, after an explanation of the situation, to reimburse a family $250 for a grave plot in the city cemetery that it was recently discovered had been accidentally sold twice. Bunnell said the family member of the person who originally paid for the lot was very understanding.
• City Clerk Bobby Bunnell delivered the financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, noting a few items but encouraging the commission members to review it further. The total General Fund revenues were $237,866.37, and total income for all accounts was $329,806.89. General Fund expenditures were $232.368.22, and total expenses for all accounts were $312,043.88.
“So we finished ahead in revenues versus expenses,” he said.
General fund revenues were $12,796 more than budgeted, and total income was $35,100 more than budgeted. On the other hand, General Fund expenses were $27,643 over budget, and, for all accounts, the city was $75,818.88 over budget on expenditures.
• During the mayor's report, he listed several meetings with transportation and economic authority officials. He's been working on replacing signage and getting some parking striping done along public roadways.