With 2019 Independence Day celebrations come and gone, members of the Garrison City Council are often confronted with the question, “Why can’t the city make a donation for fireworks each year?”

According to the state auditor, “The authority to purchase fireworks seems to be implied, and a municipality may stage a fireworks display after obtaining a permit.”

Garrison City Council discussed the fireworks topic during its Aug. 13 meeting, with all members present except Bill Stimac. Councilor Cathy Thompson added funding fireworks for one event sets a precedence, and the city cannot afford to fund multiple similar requests, but does provide port-a-johns and cleanup.

Councilor Suzanne Foster argued that the city shouldn’t be funding cleanup for the event either. “The city is not the one throwing the event, and the Commercial Club doesn’t go out and clean up after,” Foster said.

Foster was also concerned about campers illegally parked overnight along the lakeshore that connect to city power to steal electricity during this celebration.

The council agreed this issue must be addressed with the state and signage must be posted for enforcement to take place.

Thompson added the city’s goal is to attract people through the event which also benefits area businesses. Mayor Loren Larson added the Garrison VFW reports its highest numbers over fourth of July weekend.

“The more activities and more people we can bring into the city of Garrison, the better,” Larson said.


The Garrison Fire Department received 30 calls for service in July: 20 medicals, two motor home/camper fires, one grass fire, one dumpster fire, one vehicle fire, two search and rescue, one alarm and one motor vehicle crash.

An estimated $2,715 is needed for hose replacements.

Garrison City Council briefs:

• Council member Cathy Thompson suggested updating job descriptions for city employees and conducting reviews to determine wage increases.

• The off-site gambling permit for Ducks Unlimited Garrison Wildlife Chapter to hold a raffle on Sept. 5 was approved.

• There were 76 attendees at the Aug. 6 Garrison Community Night Out.

• Garrison Play Days attendance was down from last year. The council discussed holding the volleyball tournament in city park to draw more attendees next year.

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