The Richfield City Council discussed the pending Independence Day celebration during a meeting, April 28.
Each year parades, fireworks and other events draw thousands of people to Richfield, but with the coronavirus situation providing a huge unknown — city leaders are not yet ready to commit to it.
“I think our city will be ready for a celebration,” said Mayor David Ogden. “We need to celebrate our freedoms.” He said he wants to see the celebration move forward, but only if it’s deemed safe.
Some events may wind up being cancelled regardless of the COVID-19 situation in July as the preparations for them have to start now, said Michele Jolley, city manager.
One issue is floats for the parade. It may be difficult to find participants who want to create parade entries if there is a possibility of there not being a parade, Jolley said.
“We need to find out if people are interested in having an entry in the parade,” said Connie Nielson, council member.
While preparing for the event takes a significant amount of time, there may be no other choice but to wait and see how the COVID-19 crisis develops during the next couple of weeks, said Bryan Burrows, council member.
“The Fourth of July is a big deal in Richfield, but we ought to wait for a bit,” Burrows said.
The council agreed to revisit the issue of Independence Day in a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 12.
In other business, the council discussed the possible replacement of a city dump truck with Keith Mogan, public works director.
“It was well used when I started here 19 years ago,” Mogan said. He said portions of the truck’s dump bed have been patched due to them rusting out.
“It’s something that can be used by just about every department,” Mogan said. He said the replacement, some $83,000, is something he would like to see happen this year if the money in the budget is still available for it.
Mogan also discussed a loader the city uses, which is so obsolete purchasing parts for it has been difficult. Mogan suggested looking into purchasing a used one that is newer so the city can maintain it.
“I think we should freeze everything until we see the next sales tax report,” Burrows said. He said while equipment needs are pressing, it’s important to make sure the city will have the capital available before committing to purchasing anything.