BLUE HILL — Fourth of July celebration plans are still up in the air, but a decision by selectmen last Friday likely means that fireworks won’t be in the air over Blue Hill on July 4 this year.
Selectmen and others in town have discussed scaling back the town’s Fourth of July celebration and the possibility of not having any public celebration that day.
Last Friday, the selectmen were forced to make a decision about sending Blue Hill Pyrotechnics a nonrefundable deposit to guarantee the company’s firework display services for July 4.
Selectman Jim Schatz, who has attended meetings of the town’s Fourth of July Committee, said committee members have discussed scaling back the scope of the celebration and starting the event later in the day than in the past, but they definitely have expectations of fireworks being part of the celebration on July 4.
Annual Town Meeting voters the past two years have appropriated $10,000 each year to guarantee costs associated with the July 4 celebration would be met, but each year, selectmen had promised the voters that the money would be returned to the town because the event would raise more than the amount fronted by the appropriation.
“I suggest we sit back on our laurels, think it over, look at 2010 and not blow the sky full of money this year,” Selectman Duane Gray said.
He agreed that raising funds for the celebration at the level achieved in the past might not be possible this year, but he said a scaled-back version of the event would require less funding.
A motion to send a $4,800 deposit to Blue Hill Pyrotechnics was defeated by a vote of 2-1, with Selectmen Gray and Bannister voting against sending the money and Selectman Schatz voting to send it.
Bannister said after the vote that several things could result. The committee organizing the celebration could disband, or it could raise enough money to pay for a fireworks display and check to see if Blue Hill Pyrotechnics is still available on July 4, he added. Selectmen said they also expect to discuss the possibility of a celebration later in the summer.
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