America's July 4th 2004 birthday may only be celebrated by local residents with fireworks in private backyards in the county.
In the past, Price Kiwanis Club has purchased fireworks for the July 4th show with help from county government and local cities. The Independence Day event is presented at the county fairgrounds
But recent court rulings and changes in law keeping government agencies from supplying money to private organizations could end the tradition.
"We have a letter here from the Kiwanis Club that is asking for $600," stated Commissioner Bill Krompel during a regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 18. "It says here, if the organizations that have contributed before can't put up the money, the club can't do the fireworks show anymore."
In the past, the Kiwanis Club has apparently used some of the organization's service money for the fireworks.
But the group does not want to use the club's service money for the 2004 celebration.
Usually, the county and Price city kick in $600 for the fireworks display. Wellington, Helper and East Carbon City provide $200 and Sunnyside puts up $100 for the event.
But the county and cities may not provide funding for the upcoming celebration due to changes in the laws.
"We are also going to request funds from the restaurant tax committee," pointed out Dave Levanger, who represented the Kiwanis Club at the commission meeting.
Members estimate that the club will need around $5,300 to buy the fireworks to present a good program.
"The problem is that the statutes have changed and the county has to quantify giving this kind of money to an organization," pointed out Gene Strate, Carbon government's attorney.
"My advice is that the commissioners wait to give money until they see what the restaurant tax committee does. However, I think they will have basically the same problem we do," indicated the county attorney.
One suggestion offered during the commission meeting was for the county to buy the fireworks and have the Kiwanis Club administer the show.
The July 4th fireworks display is traditionally set off by the Price City Fire Department.
The commission followed Strate's advice and tabled the issue until the could explore the legalities.
Addressing an unrelated matter at the meeting, the commission considered extending the contract of county forester Leonard Stull for another year.
"Commissioner (Steve) Burge has been asking about the level of his activity in the county," explained county planning and zoning director Levanger. "I know that he had been monitoring the harvesting of timber that has been going on, up until the loggers were snowed out."
The commissioners were interested in exactly what is being done in the area regarding the county forester's contract and what Stull's activities toward controlling illegal harvesting as well as informing private property owners of their rights has been.
"I know that one of the things he does is, when a logging permit is issued, he makes sure the private property owner is aware of the problems that can take place," stated Levanger. "He also does a lot of lobbying at the state level for us."
The commissioners indicated that the county needed more accountability regarding the position.
Carbon lawmakers decided to delay approving the county forester contract until Stull came to a meeting and discussed the situation with the county commission.
"We just need to look at the functions he performs to be sure we are getting the most bang for the buck," explained Burge. "I would just like him to come in and tell us what he has been working on."
Acting on a budget-related agenda item, the commissioners approved the sale of tax and revenue anticipation notes to finance the county's general operation expenses throughout the upcoming fiscal year.'
The amount of the bonds registered at $3,915,843, with an interest rate of 1.5088 percent, pointed out Carbon County Clerk Bob Pero.
In addition, the commissioners approved a zone change from R-1-20,000 to C-2 on property in Spring Glen for Frank Perla.
Perla wants to move an existing workshop in Carbonville to a larger building in Spring Glen.
During the public hearing on Perla's request, some concerns were raised about putting the small piece of property into a C-2 zone.
But since similar zoning is currently in place around the property in question, the commission decided granting Perla's request would be a proper move for the county to make.