Akron has announced plans to scrap its annual Fourth of July fireworks, citing a 430-year-old budget crisis that has sapped the city’s usual festive mood.
“It just doesn’t seem prudent to spend $100,000 for 15 minutes of entertainment,” says Mayor Don Plusquellic, citing a figure that happens to represent the current market rate for Cuyahoga County commissioners.
The fireworks themselves cost only $40,000, according to Deputy Mayor Dave Lieberth. It’s the overtime paid to police and firefighters, plus funnel cakes, that soak up the remaining $60,000.
And Akron isn’t alone: Fairlawn, home to Summit County’s other major July 4 fireworks display, has also canceled this year’s show in light of budget constraints. County officials, meanwhile, have yet to rule on a proposal to bump Christmas to February in order to keep tinsel expenses off the 2010 books.
But there’s good news from Sam and Monty in Barberton: They’ve still got a whole bunch of Roman candles from last year, plus a new box of frogs to tie them to.