UPDATE: Anna fireworks display back on
UPDATE: Efforts which were underway during the past week to try to have an Independence Day fireworks display in Anna appeared to have been successful.
Uncertainty surrounding the event surfaced at last week’s regular meeting of the Anna City Council. The council met Tuesday evening, June 20, at Anna City Hall.
At the time of the city council meeting, it appeared that an annual fireworks display at the park would not happen.
The fireworks display was cancelled in 2012 due to ongoing extremely hot and dry weather in the area which caused concerns about potential fires.
Plans for conducting the fireworks display have been coordinated for many years through the Anna Fire Department.
Anna Fire Chief Gary Rider reported at last week’s city council meeting that the Central Illinois company which had been contracted to provide next week’s fireworks display had been denied a license by the state fire marshal’s office.
The company had presented Anna’s Independence Day fireworks display for many years.
Anywhere from 100 to 300 July 4th events were reported to have been impacted by the company being denied a license.
The fire chief only learned about the situation on June 13.
Efforts were made to find another company to provide a fireworks display in Anna. The attempts had not been successful as of the time of last week’s city council meeting. Concerns focused on licensing, permit and insurance requirements which needed to be met to allow a display to be presented.
Following the meeting, city officials on June 21 released a statement regarding the situation. The statement was signed by Mayor Steve Hartline.
The statement declared that the mayor and the city council were sorry to announce that “due to unforeseen circumstances,” the annual 4th of July fireworks display held at the Anna City Park had been canceled.
“This decision was not arrived at lightly,” the statement continued.
City officials explained that the event had been scheduled, but on June 4, the Illinois state fire marshal’s office “did not issue our vendor a license to conduct the fireworks display. There was a diligent effort made to secure another vendor, but unfortunately due to the limited amount of time we are unable to do so.”
The mayor and the city council voiced their appreciation to everyone who “has faithfully come out and supported this event in the years past.”
The statement noted that the city council had every intention to continue the fireworks display in the future.
Further Action Taken
In the days following last week’s council meeting, city officials continued to work to find somebody who might be able to present a fireworks display.
Fire Chief Rider said he was aware of a local hobbyist who might be able to help with the search.
Rider said that contacts were made with the local person, Brad Dawson, who lives near Anna.
The effort appeared to have been successful and tentative plans were made to move forward with having a fireworks display on July 4th at the park.
The Anna City Council was scheduled to meet in special session at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27.
One of the items on the agenda was approval of an ordinance regarding the use of fireworks which had been drafted by city attorney John Foley.
Rider said that Dawson had acquired the necessary permit and insurance to allow for the fireworks display to happen.
The display is planned at dusk on July 4 at the Anna City Park. The rain date for the display is July 5.
ORIGINAL: The following statement was issued Tuesday, June 27, by the City of Anna:
The Anna Fire Department, under the direction of Chief Gary Rider, is responsible for the annual fireworks celebration.
Chief Rider was notified a few days ago that the Illinois state fire marshal had suspended the license of DVC Imports.
DVC Imports was under the contract to provide the City of Anna and over 100 other celebrations throughout the Midwest with a fireworks display.
Since that time, the City of Anna has worked diligently to secure the services of a license and properly insured company to provide a safe 4th of July fireworks celebration.
Given the late notice to the City of Anna it has been difficult to locate one.
However, it is with great joy that the City of Anna will be contracting with another company to provide this service.
The 4th of July fireworks celebration is back on.
Mayor Steve Hartline would like to thank city administrator Steve Guined, Fire Chief Gary Rider, City Attorney John Foley, Melinda Clary of Consolidated Insurance and Brad Dawson for their outstanding efforts in bringing this together under such short notice.
In addition, Mayor Hartline called a special council meeting for June 27 to approve this new agreement.
Please join us at the Anna City Park on July 4th to celebrate our great country.