By Travis Smola
Schoolcraft will have fireworks again this year despite shrinking budgets. But the organizing committee also wants to see some new people involved in the yearly event.
Organizers Jon Krum and Randy Palmer were present at the village council’s first meeting in June to thank council members for a donation that makes the show possible.
Village President Keith Gunnett noted that while the village’s budget was tight, they were able to find room to help. Krum acknowledged that the show is getting more expensive to produce with the increasing cost of fireworks and shrinking budgets. He said they are in need of more financial donations. “It’s going to get to a point here pretty soon where I don’t know where the funds will come from,” Krum said.
Palmer said they tried looking at other avenues for buying the fireworks this year, but the primary supplier is gouging everyone right now. “The actual price on display firework went up probably 20 percent,” Palmer said. “It’s all because of one man in China that’s putting a stranglehold on it.”
Trustee John Stodola said he read a story about how new tariffs would also drive the price of fireworks higher. Palmer said that would probably have a bigger effect next year than this year.
Krum also noted another challenge is finding more volunteers. He doesn’t plan to stay involved with the planning for much longer. “We’ve got to come up with some people, younger people, I don’t know where to start,” Krum said. “We’ve got to come up with some solutions.”
There have been other challenges recently. Palmer said he couldn’t find anywhere to store one of the trailers they use for the displays. He ended up having to store it outside because there were no other options. The council thanked Krum and Palmer for their devotion to the cause before they approved $2,500 for the display.
In other business, Stodola presented two memorandums from the sidewalk committee. The first, which was approved by the board so the DPW could start work, summarized a list of potential sidewalk projects in the village. He said they’ve bounced back and forth between repairing damages and total replacements of sidewalk sections. “We can only do a few every year because the budget is tight,” Stodola said.
The second memorandum dealt with enforcing sidewalk ordinances where sections of sidewalk are being damaged by homeowners. “We think we would be well-served to go back and review those because it’s uncertain who pays for the damages,” Stodola said.
As one example, Stodola wondered who pays for the damages in spots where cars are constantly crossing sidewalks to the road. “It’s all kind of ambiguous the way we have it right now,” Stodola said.