Donations being sought for Berryville's 'Fire on the Mountain' display

Friday, June 5, 2009

BERRYVILLE -- With the Fourth of July just weeks away, organizers of the Fire on the Mountain fireworks display are soliciting donations to help pay for a $11,000 rocket show that is scheduled for Saturday, July 4.

Last year was the first year in many for the display. It is discharged from the top of Saunders Heights, a Berryville city park, and one of the highest points in the area.

Residents for miles around gathered for family get-togethers and barbecues to watch the rocket show, which was accompanied by patriotic music played by the local radio station.

This year will be much the same, except for added activities at the Carroll County Fairgrounds, located at the base of the mountain, where people can gather for the great view.

Berryville city alderman Deretha Walker mentioned the fundraising effort at the conclusion of Tuesday's city council meeting, saying the volunteer organizers were still several thousand dollars short of their goal.

She said the Fair Board would be running concessions at the fair grounds, serving iced watermelon by the slice, ice cream treats, and bottled water. Sam Barr's band was set to play, and the grounds would be open to all who want to set up their own grills for tailgate parties -- although personal fireworks will not be allowed.

On the mountaintop, Premier Pyrotechnics will be firing off the rockets again, she said, and all donations toward the show would be greatly appreciated.

Those donations can be dropped off at several locations, including Community First Bank and Berryville City Hall.

For more information, contact Walker at Community First Bank, Ginger Oaks at the Berryville Chamber of Commerce, Tim Poyner at KTHS Radio, or Rex Wisdom at Georges Gas.

In other council business, Walker noted the need for a map of the city cemetery, saying it would be especially helpful to out-of-town families.

She said Bobby Thurman, with Nelson Funeral Service, had reported he received "a lot of requests" for a map that would show specific burial plots, suggesting that it be posted at the entrance.

Mayor Tim McKinney said it was time to get the cemetery commission back together to decide on fencing between the church and the school, and to work on a map.

He said the three-person commission might have two vacancies, and suggested Danny Inman as a commissioner for one of those slots.

He said Inman does not live in the city, but he was a "real asset" having designed the front entrance of the cemetery and it was Inman who had researched fencing options.

Because commissioners don't receive compensation or have ties to the state, McKinney said he didn't think it would be a problem for an out-of-town person to serve in that capacity.

As for the new fence, McKinney said decorative fencing would cost $30,000 to $40,000, and he was leaning more toward chainlink and hedges.

That solution would provide a noise and visual separation between elementary students and cemetery services, he said.

Walker said she believed there would be less maintenance with chainlink and hedges, as compared to a wooden privacy fence.

Fencing options and commissioner suggestions will likely be presented at the next meeting, McKinney said.

He asked for council comments on a proposed draft resolution that would amend out-of-city water hook-up policy. With no opposition noted, McKinney said the next step would be to approve an ordinance to officially adopt the water improvement district the council previously approved in theory.

The next city council meeting is set for 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 16, at Berryville City Hall.

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