HOPE MILLS - The Hope Mills Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to hold the town’s Fourth of July festivities on July 2. Commissioner Bryan Marley was absent from the vote.
Lamarco Morrison, the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation director, recommended to the board that the town’s July 4th festivities be held on July 2. The Parks and Recreation department ran into a conflict when trying to secure a professional pyrotechnics company for July 4, which is a Monday this year.
The town found out last week that the company that usually does its fireworks had been bought out, Morrison said.
“This morning we found out the company may not be able to honor their traditional date,’’ Morrison said. “The date they did give us they could make was July 2nd.”
The company, based in South Carolina, had already scheduled its date before the merger, Morrison said.
“Parks and Recreation is recommending that we do fireworks on that Saturday,’’ Morrison told the board. “In doing so, move the parade and all the festivities to the 2nd.”
Morrison said he realized it wasn’t the fourth, but there were other ways to look at it.
“On the fourth, people would like to spend time with their families and the next day is Tuesday, a workday,” Morrison said.
Commissioner Joanne Scarloa asked if they looked at other fireworks companies.
“Yes,'' Morrision said, “if you want to do that, but we told the company to lock us in for July 2nd so we wouldn’t lose them altogether. We’d rather have that than nothing at all.”
The town has not yet signed a contract with the company. In the meantime, the department will be researching other companies, Morrison told the board.
Morrison said they considered pros and cons to having festivities on that Saturday. It was a good idea to have the festivities on Saturday and give residents time to wind down Sunday and Monday before going back to work.
Mayor Pro-Tem Kenjuana McCray said it was rather late in the game to consider other companies.
“I’m all for it having the festivities on a Saturday. I’m one of those working people having to go back to work that Tuesday,” McCray said.
Commissioner Grilley Mitchell said he liked the idea of having events on July 2.
“It’s been a while since Hope Mills has done anything on a Saturday,’’ he said. “It’s an opportunity to channel that energy back into the community.”
The town has secured the company so it doesn’t lose the fireworks altogether.
Before the vote, Mayor Jackie Warner asked board members for their thoughts.
“Madam Mayor, if we don’t have fireworks, we better find a place to hide!” Commissioner Jerry Legge said jokingly.
The board then voted to have all of the holiday festivities on July 2 and to temporarily close some roads that day.
Tiffany Brisson, a native of Hope Mills and a long-time resident, was at the meeting and agreed with the decision.
“It’s OK to not have it on the fourth,’’ Brisson said. “I like the idea of having it on Saturday rather than the weekday with everyone having to go back in to work on a Tuesday.”
In other business, the board voted to authorize the town manager to negotiate with builders for work related to the bathrooms at the Thomas Oakman Campbell Chapel. The town manager was authorized to spend approximately $47,000 related to the project.
The town had to advertise for a new general contractor when the previous contractor resigned from the design team, according to information in the agenda packet. The lowest responsive bid was submitted by DK & Sons Construction Company Inc., Morrison told the board Monday night.
The Hope Mills Parks and Recreation department also learned during the town’s plan review process that structural engineering is required for the ADA ramp canopy from the chapel to the bathrooms. “That was not included in the original design scope,” Morrison said.
Morrison said he authorized the builders to build the required canopy, and the board agreed to pay the extra cost of about $3,000 associated with the project.
Jason Canady covers Hope Mills for CityViewTODAY. He can be reached at email@example.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.