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Letter: Shame on council, shame on us for no fireworks

To the Editor:

No fireworks. What an embarrassment.

I find it frustrating and highly disappointing that our city leaders —  specifically elected council members, past and present —  for some time now have not budgeted a dime toward the fireworks display in celebration of the country’s birth. 

Prior to the Mississippi Alumination group’s attempt to raise funds, various individuals and civic groups rose to the occasion and traveled around town soliciting donations (mainly from our business community).  In addition, the Prairie Island Indian Community provided support for several years.

The birth of our country should be a primary celebration date for our community and a fireworks display should be funded annually by the community. After all, without the basic freedoms set forth at the foundation of this nation there certainly would have never been a city of Red Wing.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget that a good portion of what funds our city coffers just happens to flow down from the nation that was established July 4, 1776.

I find it ironic that city government fails to set aside any funding for this year after year when setting up the annual City budget. The cost to put on a reasonable fireworks display would probably run $10,000 to $15,000 annually. That amounts to less than $1 per citizen. The City probably spends more on copy paper in a year.

This city spends countless dollars on having outside consultants come in several different times per year. A single consulting contract fee situation might cost us $25,000 to $45,000 and we think nothing of dropping that kind of money. Wow! We could fund at least two to three years of fireworks displays with that same money.

To the City Council, shame on you! To us, as citizens, shame on us for allowing this to happen!

It’s time to step up to the plate and resolve this issue once and for all by simply budgeting the needed funding for this annual celebration within our city budget. It’s time we need to show our support for our country and that we are truly an American city.

Tom Zibble

Red Wing