Springfield’s annual fireworks show will go on as scheduled the Saturday before Independence Day. But the show may need some help.
The city council has appropriated $15,000 for the fireworks display, which will be held June 30 at Effingham County High School. For the last two years, the city has received a $10,000 grant from Liberty Mutual Insurance as part of its "Bring Back the 4th" initiative. This year, however, that program isn’t being held.
"It will solely be on us," City Manager Brett Bennett said of funding the fireworks.
Said Council member Troy Allen: "The prospect of Liberty Mutual not doing it again caught us all a little off guard."
Falcon Fireworks, a local firm, has staged the show. It draws several thousand people annually to see the display, which starts after darkness falls.
The fireworks’ cost runs from $17,000-$18,000 a year, Bennett said.
The city has looked at staging it in the city limits, even seeing if it could be at the Fairgrounds. But the shells that have to be shot there are too small to make much of a show, Bennett said.
Council member Charles Hinely pushed to have the fireworks in the city limits. Effingham County High School isn’t inside Springfield’s lines.
"If we can’t do it in the city limits and if we have to fund the whole thing, I don’t want to do it," he said. "That’s a lot of doggone money."
Council member Kenny Usher disagreed.
"I feel we have stood up and carried the load, and people have kicked in every year," he said. "If we don’t shoulder the load, I feel Effingham County will be without fireworks for the 4th of July."
Bennett said the city will send out solicitations for donations, with different levels of sponsorship available, to defray the cost of the fireworks show.
"We’ve had support from citizens and entities in the past," Usher said. "Hopefully, they will help out."