By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING — North Reading’s popular Fireworks at Ipswich River Park on the Fourth of July won’t be held in 2015, and the tradition may be on the ropes if more people don’t step up to help with the fundraising.
Nancy Wolfe, newly elected chairperson of the North Reading Fourth of July Committee, delivered the bad news Monday night, saying the committee does not have the manpower or the funds to proceed with the annual fireworks and carnival celebration. The committee is looking at 2015 as a rebuilding year with a focus on achieving their fundraising goals by spring of 2016, she said.
Wolfe said the committee will be holding a couple of fundraising events over the summer and hope to bring new people on board by then. “We’re going to challenge the organizations in town to actually fundraise for us. You don’t have to be a member of the Fourth of July Committee” to do that, she said.
Wolfe said at least $20,000 is needed to “do it right,” she said, regarding the fireworks event. Many people may not be aware that the Fourth of July Committee does not receive any town funds for the fireworks display, she explained.
Selectman Joe Foti spoke for the rest of the board when he said he’s happy to hear the committee will attempt to continue its efforts in 2016. He recalled a visit to the North Reading fireworks event years ago, before he and his family lived here, and how much they enjoyed themselves. “It was probably one of the reasons why we moved here,”
Kinder Morgan denied access to town land
After a lengthy discussion the Selectmen voted 5 to 0 to deny Kinder Morgan/ Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, access to 11 parcels of town land to conduct surveys for their proposed 20 inch natural gas pipeline project.
The board also voted unanimously to prohibit Kinder Morgan from surveying for a natural gas pipeline within any public way in town without the express written consent of the Selectmen.
The meeting at which this vote was taken was attended by a representative of Brian Hickey Associates, a Boston lobbying firm representing Kinder Morgan. The representative said he would relay the board’s decision and concerns. The Transcript will have a more in depth story next week.
Sidewalk deadline extended
After their latest discussion on the Main St. sidewalk problem, the Board voted 4 to 1 to extend until March 17 the deadline for Route 28 businesses to clear snow from their sidewalks. After March 17 the town will start levying fines. The vote was 4 to 1, with Jeff Yull opposed.