After discussion at three meetings, the Hoffman Estates village board decided to let Melrose Pyrotechnics shoot off the fireworks again at this year's Northwest Fourth Fest despite criticism of the quality of last year's show.
The board approved a contract with the company for $39,000 Monday night in a 5-1 vote. Trustee Ray Kincaid voted no, citing reasons he had brought up at earlier meetings.
"I do feel that we weren't really comparing apples to apples," Kincaid said, noting that other companies submitted bids with more large shells in their proposals.
Kincaid wanted to send the issue back to the Fourth of July Commission, which recommended Melrose in the first place. "I just didn't feel we should be rushing this," he said.
The contract states that if Melrose doesn't provide a full 30-minute show at the quality expected, the village will have the ability to withhold 25 percent of the value of the total display cost.
The show -- which includes 3,335 shells -- is valued at $41,500 because the village received a $2,500 bonus from the company for awarding them a fireworks contract for a third year in a row.
The village's 4th of July budget includes $15,000 to cover the village's share of the fireworks expense. A final agreement with Elgin, Hanover Township and Hanover Park has not been approved yet, but they will likely contribute similar amounts as they did last year.
The contract with Melrose states that if the funding from the partners is not secured by May 31, the village can reduce their fireworks display to $15,000.