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Celebrating July 4th early saves $17K
Council decides Tuesday whether to switch
The community Fourth of July celebration that includes a Kids Zone at Big League Dreams plus aerial fireworks may take place again this year on July 3. - photo by Bulletin file photo
The City Council Tuesday will decide whether to switch the aerial show and the community celebration at the Big League Dreams sports complex to Saturday, July 3, in a bid to save the city $17,405. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The decision to move the aerial fireworks last year from the Fourth of July that fell on a Saturday to Friday triggered criticism from some who contended it was unpatriotic. The move was made for the same reason as it is being proposed this year to save money.

There is at least $11,405 in police overtime involved as the Fourth of July is one of three holidays each year that sworn police officer receive triple time. Additional officers are needed during the community celebration and aerial display. Firefighters receive double overtime on the Fourth of July. The city, though, expects to simply assign an on-duty engine company to the fireworks launch site that evening.

Zambelli Fireworks International will also knock $6,000 off the price if it takes place on July 3 when demand is lower for their services instead of the Fourth of July. It would drop the overall cost of the fireworks down to $16,000.

In a report to the City Council, Assistant City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted that some of the non-profit agencies with fireworks booths reported a spike in sales of up to 40 percent because the aerial show took place on July 3 and they were able to have neighborhood celebrations on the Fourth of July. That additional revenue helped several struggling non-profits.

McLaughlin noted that last year a number of cities cancelled their Fourth of July celebrations due to the expense at a time municipal revenues are at an all-time low. Manteca opted to shift the date and charge entrance to BLD for the community celebration in a bid to retain the celebration.

The proposal is for admission charges of $2 for adults, $1 for youth ages 3 to 17 and those 2 and under to be admitted free to the events at the sports complex. The gate proceeds will go toward offsetting some of the cost of the celebration.

There will be a $2 admission fee for the youth play area. There is also a $100 fee for vendor booths.

The expenses for a July 3 celebration include fireworks, $16,000; police and park staffing, $13,605; entertainment for the community stage, $3,000; Kids Zone children’s activities, $8,000; home run derby contest, $300; marketing, $600; portable toilets, $700; health inspection, $200; tent rental, $1,000, miscellaneous, $1,000; and part-time staff, $600.

Revenues include fireworks donations, $3,000; balance in the Fourth of July account, $10,108; general admission, $6,500; home run derby contest, $300; Kids Zone fee, $1,200; and vendors, $1,600.

That leaves $22,708 in revenues against $45,005 in expenses.

If the July 3 date is used, the unfunded cost of the celebration is $22,297. If the community celebration and aerial fireworks takes place on the Fourth of July there would be an unfunded gap of $39,303.

Staff is asking the council to authorize transferring $47,900 in bonus bucks from the development fee fund agreement account to the recreation fund to pay bills in advance and to cover the amount of the celebration that isn’t paid for with revenues. The bonus bucks are paid by developers to secure sewer allocation certainty for new homes.

In her report, McLaughlin noted that the Manteca Kiwanis have indicated they plan to keep their pancake breakfast on the Fourth of July. The Sunrise Kiwanis are planning to keep the parade on Independence Day as well.