By Sam Jack, TSnews
CLEARWATER – At its meeting last Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Clearwater City Council voted 5-0 to hire Victory Pyrotechnics to present this summer’s Fourth of July fireworks show.
The city had budgeted $5,000 for the 2023 fireworks show. But Victory, which was co-founded by Clearwater native Cody Hanna, recently let the city know that it will not be able to accommodate shows costing less than $10,000 on the Fourth of July.
Victory did offer to put on a smaller, $5,000 show on the weekend prior to the Fourth. Another pyrotechnics company, Rainbow, offered to do an 8-minute show on the holiday for $5,000.
After discussion, the council voted to hire Victory for $10,000, and to plan on conducting community fundraising to cover the extra $5,000. For that price, Victory will provide a 15-minute show with 750 to 1,125 total fireworks.
“I feel confident that if we did some social media, got in front of it starting now – put up on Facebook and the website about the Fourth of July event we’re raising money for – that we’d be able to accumulate some of that $5,000, if not all,” Mayor Burt Ussery said.
If fundraising doesn’t fully cover the extra cost of the show, money can be transferred from reserve funds to make up the shortfall, city administrator Courtney Zollinger said.
In other business:
• Mayor Ussery recognized Samantha Warkins as 2022 Citizen of the Year. Warkins is the chair of the park advisory board, a member of the planning commission, board of zoning appeals, and historical society board, and is now president of the Fall Festival committee.
“In every capacity, (she is) always cheerful, enthusiastic, presenting a positive ‘can-do’ attitude,” Ussery said. “Never hesitating to jump in where needed and provide leadership and assistance.”
Previous Citizen of the Year recipients include Lonnie Stieben, David Papish, Kathy Merchant and Yvonne Coon.
• The council approved a special event permit for Clearwater Fall Festival. The festival will be held Oct. 6-7. That is later than the traditional dates for the festival, but Zollinger said that when the festival was previously held in early October, people appreciated the cooler weather. WEE Entertainment will provide a carnival.
• The council formally approved a resolution for funding of a water line loop for the Indian Ridge development, which had been agreed upon at the previous council meeting. The loop will cost $20,000, of which $10,000 will be paid by the city at large and $10,000 will be paid via special assessments on homeowners in the new neighborhood.
• A council workshop was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31, but that workshop was later canceled.
• The meeting concluded with a closed-door, 20-minute executive session to discuss matters covered by attorney-client privilege.