By Emily Small
In a 4-1 vote, the town board decided to forgo the annual Fourth of July fireworks purchase by the Washington Island Fire Department. The decision was made during a May 6 special meeting.
The board met for the special meeting, via the GoToMeeting online platform. All board members were in attendance online, as well as several community members.
The vote came following a lengthy discussion by the town board focused on how the town will move forward and update its official COVID-19 statement when the Wisconsin stay-at-home order is lifted. The fireworks purchase was part of that discussion.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the WIFD is unable and unwilling to hold the annual pancake breakfast fundraiser used to collect monies for the fireworks display, Town Chairman Richard Tobey explained.
WIFD asked the town to support them by not approving the purchase.
According to department contact Rob Carr, the fire department does not want to run the risk of purchasing $8,000 worth of fireworks without having a fundraiser to pay for them.
The WIFD did indicate they would be open to a fireworks display later in the season if the situation improved.
Supervisor Hans Lux said, “I’d like them to consider still doing it on the Fourth.” He suggested they could focus less on a ground show and more on an aerial one, keeping the ballfield closed so people could watch the fireworks while maintaining social distance.
The board ultimately voted down the motion to purchase the fireworks 4-1.
Read more about the May 6 Town Board meeting in this week’s issue.
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