Vernon Launches Campaign To Save Fireworks Display

Vernon needs some money to put on the traditional fireworks display after the Town Picnic on June 30, even though the Town Meeting in March voted to appropriate funding for the event.

In the past, Vermont Yankee generously paid for the annual fireworks. But with the nuclear plant shut down, Vermont Yankee and Entergy have eliminated most of their local largesse. So at the Vernon Town Meeting in March, voters approved an appropriation of $2,000 to supplement about $3,000 that had already been raised from other sources (including generous donations from Northstar, which is planning to decommission the nuclear plant, and FirstLight, which owns the Vernon Hydroelectric Dam). The total cost for fireworks is $5,000-$6,000.

However, the fireworks were planned for June 30, which falls into the 2018 fiscal year, and the appropriation was for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins the next day, on July 1. So the Selectboard at its June 5 meeting concluded that the $2,000 appropriation could not legally be used for this year’s fireworks. (And, it was not possible to reschedule the picnic and fireworks into July, because the fireworks company is booked solid then.) This leaves the town in need of $2,000-$3,000 from other sources, or the fireworks will have to be canceled.

To fill the gap, Vernon resident Hannah Gantt is leading an effort to appeal for donations. Anyone wishing to donate should bring cash or checks (made out to the Town of Vernon) to the treasurer’s office (or town clerk) at the Town Office Building. The treasurer’s hours are Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the town clerk’s office is open till 5 p.m. those days. The office is closed on Fridays. Donations can also be mailed to the Vernon Town Treasurer, 567 Governor Hunt Rd., Vernon, VT 05354.

Donations will also be collected at the picnic and at the fireworks event, with any extra money being applied to the 2019 fireworks.

Photo by Tony Gumbel. Used under Creative Commons License.

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