BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. – 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.