KILLALOE – The Killaloe-Hagarty-Richards (KHR) Township council met on July 2 for its regularly scheduled meeting. Canada Day festivities were fresh on the minds of Council, and received a lot of attention.
4000 Plus for Canada Day!
Council celebrated the overall success of the Canada Day celebration, held at St. Andrew’s Catholic School grounds in Killaloe.
Maria Mayville, community development coordinator, reported an attendance of close to 5000, well above last year’s numbers.
The combination of music, activities, children’s events, food, Beaver Tails, and fireworks, provided a full day of fun and enjoyment.
Mayor Janice Visneskie mentioned that, although the fireworks were not as well received this year as in previous years, “It was the whole package,” of all that took place during the day that made it a great event.
Visneskie brought forward concerns around the fireworks display at this year’s Canada Day. Although some positive feedback was received, she acknowledged that the fireworks this year were a little disappointing, and that she, along with other councillors, received some negative comments.
Complaints centered upon the placement of the fireworks away from the school grounds, as well as the lower trajectories of many of the individual shots, less visible and less effective.
The mayor wants the public to know that the decision to move the setup away from the school grounds was solely a health and safety issue. It was neither the preference nor the decision of the fire chief, nor the council.
The professional operator providing the fireworks’ display required the change. Council was informed only a few days prior to the Canada Day weekend. The operator’s license and insurance would be at risk, should they proceed as in previous years, placing the operations on the school grounds, close to the public, and to the surrounding homes and structures.
This determination only came to council’s attention a few days prior to the Canada Day weekend, and a quick decision had to be made. Past displays did result in some instances of spent materials landing in surrounding yards, on structures, and causing some damage to private property.
Thus, health and safety interests precipitated a timely decision, to move the operations to a site away from the playground.
The council, at the suggestion of the mayor, agreed to take out ads in local papers. The ads will express apologies, explain the reasoning behind the changes, and assure the public that, council will work hard towards providing excellent fireworks displays in the future.
Story continues in the July 10, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.