Stories From Main Street: Tough Times For July 4th Fireworks In Tri-State Area
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In this age of budget cuts and tax caps, there isn’t much money for 4th of July fireworks, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.
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“Municipal budgets are absolutely strapped for essential services at this point,” said Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna.
Outside of the Macy’s extravaganza, Red Bank has one of the largest fireworks displays around. Well, it had one of them.
“The entire event roughly runs about $250,000,” Menna told Adams.
He said the non-profit that put on the show didn’t have the money for it this year.
“I think we will do it again. We just have to retool how we’re going to do it,” Menna said. “Perhaps a major sponsor would be the key.”
Menna has a short list of potential donors.
“We do hear from Bon Jovi quite a bit because he’s got the Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, but I haven’t approached this issue with him yet,” Menna said.
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This year will mark the 118th consecutive Independence Day celebration in Ridgefield Park. It’s one of the oldest in the country.
But committee chair John Tymon said that, for four years now, there hasn’t been any money for fireworks.
“If we could see an upswing in fundraising and we can minimize the cost that the village would have to contribute, there’s a possibility we may again have fireworks in the village of Ridgefield Park,” he told Adams.
In Montclair, volunteers raised money and saved the day.
Plus, outgoing Mayor Jerry Fried said, “After we moved them to Montclair State University, between police overtime and other expenses, it’s a little bit cheaper doing it that way.”
In New Rochelle, the fireworks were cancelled until City Manager Charles Strome received a generous check.
“The S.E.L.F. – Help Foundation of New Rochelle gave us $50,000 for the fireworks, which covers more than 2/3 of the cost, and once you get that kind of a donation, you have to make sure you have the event and go forward and find the rest,” Strome told Adams. “They felt that this particular event brings the community together, and it certainly does. We get a large a large crowd at all of our waterfront parks where you can watch it.”
The bottom line for many towns is that, in the future, if they want fireworks, they’ll have to raise the funds privately.
Do you know of any other towns that have had to cancel their fireworks or did cancel them, but were able to restore them? Please share their stories in the comments section below.