BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The City of Beckley canceled its Fourth of July fireworks, but not for the reason one might think.
According to Mayor Rob Rappold, the firework contractor the city works with required a commitment six weeks ahead of time. The due date for Rappold’s decision sat in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time which he said he was not confident enough to schedule the event. It is not social distancing that concerns Mayor Rappold, but rather the uncertainty of the city’s budget.
“What I was worried about at that time early on, we were facing a very real possibility due to a budget shortfall of about 25 percent that we may be facing layoffs in various departments,” said Rappold
Mayor Rappold said he did not want to spend thousands of dollars on fireworks while also having to make budget cuts and possibly layoff staff.