With Freedom Fire deficit, Logan Mayoral candidate Petersen voices concern

Freedom Fire, the Independence Day celebration co-sponsored by Logan City and Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts, lost money in 2013 for the third year in a row.

But Mayor Randy Watts told the city council Tuesday that the deficit of about $8500 was much lower than in previous years and was well worth it. On <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/328/2013_08_07_328_13237_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>KVNU’s Crosstalk show on Wednesday</a>, Watts said he wants to keep the program going.

Cache County councilmember Craig Petersen, who is challenging Watts in Tuesday’s primary election, said he has mixed feelings about the issue.

“If you look at the $47,000 that Logan puts in, the $20,000 that the county puts in and the $8,000 deficit, that means that there’s a public contribution to that show of about $75,000,” Petersen said. “The statistics that were presented indicated that we had 8,700 people in the stadium. That’s in the stadium that potentially seats 25,000 people. I’m not sure that we’re serving very broadly the citizens of Cache County.”

Watts’ other challenger, Logan’s Community Development Grant Coordinator James Olson said there is enough local talent to have a great program that costs considerably less money. Olson referred to his group Better Logan which seeks to strengthen neighborhoods and bring more attention to local organizations.

“There’s a push among that group to see what we could do to get more of our musicians. We have a lot of local talent that would love to take a big stage,” Olson explained. “I think we have the resources here to still put on a great production, something that we could price lower to make it more accessible for my family and yours.”

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