Summers in New Carlisle used to be the greatest. The smell of fresh-cut grass and charcoal grills filled the air. Neighbors gathered on each other’s patios to chat about work, kids, the Reds, and a world that seemed so much smaller and more familiar back then.
And then, early in July, we all sat outside or gathered up at the ballpark to watch our local firefighters set off a brilliant fireworks display that left kids in awe and grown-ups appreciating all that we have as residents of the greatest country God ever gave the earth.
But several years ago New Carlisle cut the fireworks display. Our folks flocked to neighboring communities — Tipp City, Troy, Huber Heights, Fairborn, among others — to celebrate our independence from the tyranny of the bastard Brits more than 200 years ago. But this year Tipp City has decided to halt their fireworks display as well.
I got to thinking about how great it would be for New Carlisle to have fireworks again. Our town does such a wonderful job with the New Year’s Eve ball drop and the Heritage of Flight Festival, I trust that we could once again put on a tremendous fireworks show.
That brings us to the question that looms over everything in our great little city: How are we going to pay for it? Heritage of Flight Festival committee member April Lowrey said that the cost of the most recent fireworks display was $6,000. Main & Lake — with an assist from the members of the popular Facebook group “You Know You’re From New Carlisle If…” — has some ideas on where the money can be found.
Local businesses donate a portion of sales
This option benefits the community in a number of ways. First, it generates funds needed to buy the fireworks. Second, it drives interest in our local businesses and inspires people to buy local, which in turn supports our neighbors and the city itself. Perhaps we can issue fliers or online ads mentioning the businesses who participate as sponsors in order to drive more customers to their locations.
Direct donations from citizens
Every time I log onto Facebook I’m swamped with requests for donations for a plethora of causes. Some are deserving: a family has lost a loved one, someone is battling a debilitating disease. Others are total nonsense: a smart-aleck teenager wants people to pay for his reckless driving violation, a grown man wants folks to pay for him to get plastic surgery so he can look exactly like Alf.
But one thing is certain: if people want something, they will pay for it. And I think a lot of people want fireworks in New Carlisle again. So we can have people donate directly at the city building.
Resell drugs confiscated in local busts
Do you ever wonder what happens to all those drugs that are taken away from criminals as our police clean up the streets? They usually sit in evidence rooms for months or even years. What if we sold them to prescription drug manufacturers to be repackaged and sent to hospitals? Thousands of dollars could be made. Plus we could make sure these drugs don’t fall into the hands of addicts who would abuse them on the street. Instead they would fall into the hands of trusted and honorable doctors who would never, ever contribute to the opioid and amphetamine epidemics sweeping our region by prescribing unnecessary medications.
New Carlisle Pool party and cookout
Our pool is revitalized, thanks to the hard work of a select crew of employees and volunteers. What if we used the pool to host an open invitation pool party and cookout? People could pay for tickets that entitle them to swimming and food, with the profits going to the fireworks fund. This would not only help raise money, but it would show people how great the pool is in case they haven’t been there in recent years. Our city budget allots somewhere between $60,000-$80,000 for the running of the pool for a period of just over three months this summer, but I don’t think we can afford to take a couple thousand dollars from that fund.
Breed stray dogs and sell puppies
Stray dogs have been a consistent problem in town for years. But what if we turned a problem into a solution? We could hire a dog breeder to select strays and breed puppies for sale. With the wide variety of breeds loose in New Carlisle we could become a destination for designer puppies of nearly any mixed breed imaginable. Designer dogs can sell for thousands to wealthy buyers looking for a unique pup. The abandoned Belle Manor building would make a great location to host the operation, and it would solve the problem of another prominent vacant building in town.
What other ideas do you have to fund fireworks in New Carlisle? Let us know in the comments!