Springfield’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show was a hot topic at Springfield City Council’s meeting Tuesday.
Springfield Police Chief Paul Wynn said there were approximately 8,000 to 10,000 people at Effingham County High School to watch the fireworks, which were staged July 5.
“I would like to make a comment on that I was told by (ECHS athletics director) Tim Hood that the fireworks were very well planned,” Council member Troy Allen said.
Mayor Barton Alderman said he had also heard compliments of the display.
Council member Butch Kieffer said the council would need to discuss the financial aspect of the event.
“If this is going to be a county project, it needs to be a county project,” he said.
Alderman said this year the fireworks were “sponsored by City of Springfield.”
Kieffer asked City Manager Brett Bennett to begin looking at financial help for the display. Alderman said other governmental bodies have tapered their financial support for the fireworks though out the years.
Council member Max Neidlinger said it was great to begin with when there was equal participation, but know the burden is on Springfield.
Bennett said anything, including other law enforcement agencies lending their officers, would help.
Wynn said the cost was approximately $14,000-$15,000 for the fireworks, security and cleanup. The fireworks, which lasted a little longer than 20 minutes, cost $13,000.
Alderman said he thinks the other municipalities and county officials are trying to cut out everything they can. Kieffer said he would like to put it out to the public that the fireworks are in jeopardy and see what the response is.
Alderman said he didn’t think there had been a cost study done in years.
Neidlinger said the estimated numbers at the event show that there are more than just Springfield residents who attend the event. The last census showed Springfield had less that 5 percent of the population of the county.
Kieffer said Springfield does not gain anything from holding the display.
Alderman said the fireworks began as a county effort in 1999 when Springfield celebrated its bicentennial.
That year there was a parade in Springfield and a fireworks display.
He said Springfield has organized the fireworks since then.