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Fireworks fundraising quandary brought before county

Lake County Chamber of Commerce board member Kelly McGarva recently brought the matter of fundraising for this year’s fourth-of-July fireworks before the Lake County Board of Commissioners.

McGarva informed the Commissioners during their Tuesday, March 4, work session that the Chamber would not fund the fireworks show this year.

She noted that both the County and the Town of Lakeview donated $500 toward the fireworks show last year, but the Chamber posted a $3,200 loss in funding the majority balance for the show.

McGarva noted that there are concerns that the absence of a fireworks show locally would result in residents traveling out to Drews Reservoir for a privately-hosted function.  Numerous safety-related concerns follow this alternative.

Commissioner Ken Kestner said the primary focus of the Chamber is to promote commerce.

“I don’t think the Chamber is opposed to collaboration, but I don’t think that it wants the (sole) responsibility of (the fireworks show),” he said.

Kestner also noted that county has contributed to fireworks shows in both the south and north Lake County areas in recent years.

Commissioner Dan Shoun said he believes once it is known that the Chamber is not spearheading the entire program’s fundraising effort, others within the community will likely step up.

McGarva said she didn’t want the new habit to become traveling to Drews Reservoir, due to a variety of potentially negative ramifications.

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