Town planning ahead for next summer’s fireworks display

As it turns out, having fireworks for the Fourth of July is not as cut and dry as it might first appear.

“One of the reasons I really like my job,” Pagosa Springs Town Manager Greg Schulte said, “is because I get to be exposed to a lot of different things, and so far, in twenty-six years of government experience, I have never been on the procurement end of fireworks. It was kind of an interesting endeavor and pretty educational.”

There were several things Schulte learned by taking on the fireworks problem, the first being that setting off a fireworks display is a job best left to the professionals.

Schulte explained that in the past the town has purchased the fireworks and then town staff has set them off. “We do have staff that is certified to do that,” Schulte continued, “but this last year we had a few low bursts, and after talking to the staff and thinking about it, we believe that it’s really not a good idea to have town staff setting off explosives.”

The town had purchased fireworks before July 4, 2012, but because there was a fire ban that year, and again in 2013, the town was unable to use those fireworks until this year. Schulte did not elaborate on whether the age of the fireworks played a role in their less-than-perfect performance this summer.