In response to questions from the council, Rempel acknowledged that the senior center would not benefit directly from any fireworks orders he might receive as a result of the display.
But Rempel said HSC board members believe the fireworks show could benefit the center indirectly by drawing more people to the fundraiser meal.
He quoted board members as saying, “If we don’t do the fireworks, we might as well not do the fundraiser.”
Council members discussed finding a different location in town, such as Memorial Park, for the fireworks display to lessen the risk. They also talked about the danger of setting a precedent for other requests.
On the latter concern, City Administrator Larry Paine reminded the council that each request that comes to the council can be approved or disapproved on its own merits.
In the end, the council voted for the exception as a way to communicate the city’s support for the senior center.
“I would like to help the senior center,” Councilor Byron McCarty said. “We sometimes hear that they think we don’t do anything for them.”
McCarty, Bob Watson and Marlene Fast voted for the recommendation while Shelby Dirks vote against it.
Mayor Delores Dalke reminded everyone at the meeting that taxpayers will be contributing financially to the event because city funds pay for a fire truck and firefighter to be on site, as protocol requires.
“And remember what we did for your personal business,” she told Rempel.
Rempel said fireworks is one of his passions, and that the approach he uses for pricing his products doesn’t result in significant personal profit.
“It makes not a lot of difference to me whether I shoot fireworks or not (as part of the fundraiser),” he said.