Chamber asks city to double fireworks funding

Chamber asks city to double

fireworks funding

Ray Scherer

The Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce has formally asked city leaders to consider doubling its funding for the annual fireworks show held as part of FreedomFest 2021.

The request was presented in the form of a letter Monday night at the regular meeting of the Hermann Board of Aldermen. In the letter, chamber Executive Director Melissa Lensing said the organization is asking the city to consider doubling the July 4 fireworks funding from last year's $2,500 to $5,000, to help cover costs of putting on the show.

"The reason we are requesting an increase is that we would like to increase our budget for fireworks this year from $7,500 to $10,000," Lensing wrote. "I believe our community will appreciate the boost in celebration, especially this year."

The brief letter concludes with Lensing asking the city to forward her any questions and offers appreciation for a consideration of the increased amount.

Without taking any votes, the board instead chose to ask chamber officials to attend a future meeting to explain their request in more depth. However, some early comment has come forth on the matter.

"I don't know if the the city should be the one to increase their budget," said Mayor Bruce Cox. "We'll ask them to come and plead their case."

Alderman Jim Schirmer said he wanted to hear an explanation of what other organizations contribute to the program, so as to make a comparison with the city's portion. Alderman David Faerber said the request makes him wonder about what sort of precedent might be set by the city.

On March 16, the chamber announced via Facebook that it has already started planning out details for this year's FreedomFest, which is set for  Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4. A scaled-down version of the festival was held in 2020 due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.