Logan City opens talks about 2013 Freedom Fire with mixed reviews

Five weeks after the Independence Day Freedom Fire extravaganza in Romney Stadium was staged as a joint collaboration between Utah State University and Logan City, budget talks for next year got started at Tuesday’s Logan Municipal Council meeting as a workshop item.

Freedom Fire executive producer Mike Bankhead told the council that he is starting to “pencil in” various ways to make the 2013 Freedom Fire even better but admitted that he didn’t know if there will be another show in 2013. Parks and Recreation Department director Russ Akina says $47,200 would come from his department’s budget. He told the council he hoped to be able to get those funds covered by sponsors, RAPZ tax and other contributions.

Logan councilmember Holly Daines said she has mixed feelings about the event.

“It’s a great show. I’m not arguing that,” Daines said. “But it’s $50,000 for one night and it’s gone. Think what $50,000 could do every year, because you’re going to come back next year and ask for the same amount, for our trails, our ball fields, our dog park, our new indoor space at the rec center.

“We have such a list of needs and to blow it in one night I have a hard time with that.”

In 2011, Freedom Fire costs exceeded revenues by over $50,000. In 2012 losses weren’t as great but the show still lost approximately $23,000. Everyone participating in the budget workshop agreed there will be a lot more talk before any decision is made about the 2013 Freedom Fire.

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