After weeks of event cancellations, at least one annual celebration is in the works.
Marble Falls City Council on April 21 approved a budget adjustment for the Parks and Recreation Department that includes a $25,000 deposit on fireworks for the 2020 Fourth of July celebration and $35,000 to purchase a used barge for future fireworks displays.
“Fourth of July is going to be a celebration, obviously, of the Fourth of July but also what the United States’ people have done to pull together to get through this, and, one way or the other, we’re going to have a fireworks show,” Mayor John Packer said. “Worst-case scenario: It’s going to be cars parked up and down the Hays Addition and Lakeshore (Drive) along Buena Vista, anywhere we can park cars. My opinion is we’re going to have a fireworks show.”
Parks and Recreation Director Lacey Dingman said staff also discussed transferring items originally to be used during canceled Spring Break events, such as bounce houses and a rock-climbing wall, to the Fourth of July celebration.
“Even if those things aren’t possible, we’ve been talking about, at least, how we can make the fireworks show possible for the community,” she said.
The barge is the same one the city currently rents, but the company is no longer interested in renting it on an annual basis. The barge is two years old and has about a 20-year lifespan, according to the seller.
“We do spend about $7,500 a year renting it, so, certainly, it would be a good investment,” Dingman said.
The funds for the July 4 fireworks show come from a community donation pool collected from residents as part of their monthly water bill.
The budget adjustment also included funding to finish Phase 1A of Lakeside Park upgrades, including, but not limited to, the purchase of beach furniture, signage, remaining parking spots, hand railing, and repairs to the Lakeside Park Monument, which has a crack.
The adjustment funds will come from the remaining balance of the 2019 tax note for pavilion improvements and a portion of the money allocated for the preliminary design for a new City Hall.