Cumberland Times-News

June 11, 2013

City's fireworks display to be performed at Bishop Walsh

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — The city’s annual public fireworks display for the Fourth of July will be performed on Haystack Mountain in the area of Bishop Walsh School.

The Times-News learned Tuesday that Bishop Walsh School staff was informed Monday that the city fireworks display is expected to be conducted there. It was reportedly announced at a teachers meeting that the Archdiocese of Baltimore had given the city permission to conduct the display at the school’s softball field.

City Administrator Jeff Rhodes said Tuesday morning that “we are still trying to finalize the location.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Brian Grim in a Facebook posting and a call to the Times-News confirmed that “BW is our choice site.” The mayor said the details were not yet finalized.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Jason Mowbray said Tuesday the agency has not yet received a site selection application from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, which is the formal applicant for the fireworks display.

The process also involves the Authority Having Jurisdiction, which by state law would be the state fire marshal or his designate for the application process — in this case, the city’s fire marshal — Lt. W. Shannon Adams.

“The city fire marshal would be responsible to review the site with the applicant for preapproval,” said Mowbray.

The application must have preapproval of the AHJ before it is submitted to the fire marshal’s Bomb Squad Unit for review and approval. The process normally takes about 10 days but a rush application can be processed for approval within a day. The application fee is $50 and the rush application process carries an additional $50 fee.

The application contains detailed information including location, physical address, contractor information and licensing number, insurance particulars, and a map of the site plan that shows distances and clearance distance information for viewing areas designated for the public.

Late Tuesday morning, Cumberland Fire Chief Donnie Dunn said the city is awaiting some contractor information.“We’ve got everything pretty much in order,” said the chief. The contractor for the fireworks display is Schaefer Pyrotechnics Inc. of Ronks, Pa. The cost of the public fireworks display to the city is $12,500.

Mowbray also said the city and the fire marshal’s office have worked together concerning the city’s need for a fireworks display site other than Constitution Park. The remodeled above-ground location of the Allegany County 911 center at the park adjacent to the ballfield required the city to find a new location.

“This has been a well-organized process on the city’s behalf coordinated with the fire marshal’s office. We’ve had many meetings over several months. I think it’s going to be a good shoot,” said Mowbray.

Contact Jeffrey Alderton at jlalderton@times-news.com.