0

Covington to fund fireworks

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

The Covington City Council agreed Monday night to fund fireworks and a downtown celebration for the Fourth of July.

The council has not pitched in for fireworks since 2008. Funding was previously split between the county and city, but due to financial troubles in the county, the Board of Commissioners has opted not to participate the past two years, prompting city officials also to pull out. Last year, the city did contribute money to a public/private musical celebration on the Square.

At Mayor Kim Carter's recommendation, the council approved a budget of $12,000 for fireworks and festivities. The cost will be split evenly with Main Street Covington, with each to pay $6,000.

"I don't know about you, but I've suffered considerable criticism on the part of the city because we didn't have fireworks last year," City Manager Steve Horton said, and the council agreed.

"This is a great community event," Carter said, adding that it's a very small cost on a per capita basis. Carter said the city is not asking the county to participate in funding.

The musical celebration is the brainchild of McKibben Music Store owner Mack McKibben. Councilman Mike Whatley, who is helping to organize the event, said the hope is to have two stages on either end of the Square so there won't be any lag time between performances.

For the last two years, Porterdale has hosted the only community fireworks celebration. The council agreed the Covington event should take place on July 3 so as not to conflict with Porterdale's July 4 festivities.