Eternal flame only lasts until gas bill arrives

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) - An "eternal" flame at Bullhead
City's new veterans memorial park that only lasted until city
officials received a $961 gas bill has been re-lit following
complaints by veterans groups.
The Medal of Honor Memorial at the Arizona Veterans Memorial
Park alongside the Colorado River was lit on Veterans Day in
November. When the bill arrived in late December, city officials
were stunned.
"It caught us by surprise," City Manager Tim Ernster said
Thursday. "What we decided to do for the time being is to turn the
flame on ... for special events, for Veterans Day, Fourth of July,
Memorial Day - those types of activities."
The flame was extinguished on Monday. The Mohave Valley Daily
News published a story Friday quoting city officials and
disgruntled veterans who had worked to pay for and build the
memorial before turning it over to the city.
The flame was back on by midmorning Friday following a meeting
of city officials.
"What happened was really a miscommunication," city spokesman
Steve Johnson said. "The issue came up one day and it was never
intended to be shut off."
Johnson said the flame is impressive, but city parks officials
are looking at ways to put a smaller burner in place and only use
the larger one at special events.
"We're looking at alternatives, because $1,000 a month in these
economic times is certainly a consideration," Johnson said.

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