June 28, 2018 05:25 AM
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced Wednesday the city will not host a fireworks display this year on the Fourth of July.
Carter said he considered budgetary priorities and made the decision to eliminate the fireworks display.
Other events part of the city's Fourth of July festivities will continue as normal.
In a Facebook post, Carter wrote the following:
Fireworks on the 4th of July have long been an Independence Day tradition in our city as a way to commemorate the signing of our nation's declaration of independence. As I've considered the budgetary priorities we manage across our city in the first year of my administration, I've decided I can't in good conscience support spending tax dollars on a fireworks display in Saint Paul this year. Our official convention & visitors bureau, Visit Saint Paul, has compiled events and celebrations during the 4th of July holiday week, and I encourage everyone to join in these and others with friends and family members to celebrate this national holiday.
In a news conference Wednesday, Carter said, "The fact of the matter is, we just don't have $100,000 to spend blowing up rockets over our city."
He went on to say, "We've been focused since my first year in office and we've been really focused on building our public safety plans and ensuring that we are creating college savings accounts to get every child in this city on the path to college, and creating economic justice and inclusion. That's been our focus, not planning a fireworks display."
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with some in St. Paul to get their opinion on the decision.
Heather Holt said she is a mental health professional with a service dog who doesn't like fireworks.
"We hunker down on the Fourth of July and kind of hide out and that's not how we want to spend our holiday," she said.
Holt said she believes the money should go elsewhere.
"I would say our public schools need air conditioning a lot more than we need a fireworks display."
However, not everyone agrees.
"It's sad that they are not doing it," Alan Young, of St. Paul, said. "I was looking forward to it."
Updated: June 28, 2018 05:25 AM
Created: June 27, 2018 09:18 AM
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