VERNON—Vernon needs some additional money to put on the traditional fireworks display after the Town Picnic on June 30.
According to the town’s community newsletter, Vermont Yankee used to pay for the annual fireworks. But with the nuclear plant shut down, Vermont Yankee and Entergy have eliminated most of their local largesse.
At this year’s Annual Town Meeting in March, voters approved an appropriation of $2,000 to supplement about $3,000 that had already been raised from other sources — including generous donations from Northstar, which is planning to decommission the nuclear plant, and FirstLight, which owns the Vernon hydroelectric dam.
The total cost for fireworks is $5,000 to $6,000.
However, the fireworks were planned for June 30, which falls into the 2018 fiscal year, and the appropriation was for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins the next day, on July 1.
At its June 5 meeting, the Selectboard concluded that the $2,000 appropriation couldn’t legally be used for this year’s fireworks. The town also learned that it wasn’t possible to reschedule the picnic and fireworks into July, because the fireworks company is booked solid then.
This leaves the town in need of $2,000 to $3,000 from other sources, or the fireworks will have to be canceled.
To fill the gap, Vernon resident Hannah Gantt is leading an effort to appeal for donations.
Anyone wishing to donate should bring cash or checks (made out to the Town of Vernon) to the treasurer’s office (or town clerk) at the Town Office Building. The treasurer’s hours are Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the town clerk’s office is open till 5 p.m. those days. The office is closed on Fridays.
Donations can also be mailed to the Vernon Town Treasurer, 567 Governor Hunt Rd., Vernon, VT 05354.
Donations will also be collected at the picnic and at the fireworks event, with any extra money being applied to the 2019 fireworks.