Having the city of Lansing's fireworks display on a date other than July 4 may have been a boon for the program, some council members said during Thursday's work session.
So most didn't hesitate about picking a company to do the supply that would be available June 27 next year. The actual vote is expected at the next regular meeting, so council members said if citizens have big objections they could voice them then.
The city's display this year was on a Friday evening, June 28, because companies contacted had already committed to other venues on the Fourth of July. Nolan Sunderman, economic development and CVB director, said the department issued a request for proposal and distributed it to 23 companies. Only three responded with proposals for the two displays requested — one for Lansing Daze on May 2, 2014, and one for the Independence Day celebration.
Sunderman said the proposals asked the companies what they could provide for a $5,000 cost for Lansing Daze and $17,000 for Independence Day. The company the city recommends, Aerial FX, offered a longer display and more fireworks for the money. That was the company that provided this year's program. Aerial FX is based in St. Joseph, Mo. The other two companies proposing displays were Gateway Fireworks of St. Louis and Wald & Co. of Greenwood, Mo.
Aerial FX had also offered to provide a display on July 4 for an additional $5,000. However, Sunderman said it would actually cost the city more money than that, because it would mean paying staff holiday, rather than overtime, pay for their work. He estimated that at $12,000. However, Council Member Andi Pawloski, who preferred the July 4 date, said the city had always done that anyway.
Council member Gregg Buehler said the cost be about $2,000 to $3,000 more than usual, along with the extra $5,000 the company requested. He said he personally preferred July 4, too, but he agreed with Council Member Don Studnika that it wasn't worth the extra $5,000.
Sunderman said having the earlier display this year actually meant more vendors were available as well as more entertainment items, like bouncers, for the children. He believes the crowd was actually larger this year than in years past.
Council member Dave Trinkle said he didn't see anything wrong with how it was handled this year. Council member Gene Kirby agreed, adding that some people told him they were glad it wasn't the Fourth. He said it gave them a chance to do more family things that day or to go to the display at Fort Leavenworth as well.
The majority of the council members seemed inclined to go with the earlier date, since this year's had been successful, especially given the additional funds for a July 4 commitment.
Council members also discussed plans for an improvement or benefit district for funding public improvements associated with the new high school. Public Works Director John Young used a PowerPoint presentation to brief the group about how it would work, based on a 50-50 split between the city and the Lansing school district.
Page 2 of 2 - The improvements include extending the sanitary sewer to the high school as well as improvements on 147th Street at the Ridge Drive main school entrance intersection. The proposed signals and left turn lanes would handle the additional traffic load.
The estimated cost for the sanitary sewer interceptor is about $1.3 million. The cost associated with street improvements is about $470,000.
The city is proposing issuing general obligation bonds for the project, with bond payments to begin in 2015. The new school is expected to open in August 2015.
This item, too, will be voted on at the regular council meeting.