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Big blast is on July 4, not July 3 this year
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It’s official: Manteca is celebrating July Fourth this year on July 3 to avoid overtime costs as well as secure a less expensive aerial fireworks display.

The City Council Tuesday blessed a staff proposal to streamline the annual community celebration and fireworks plus shifted the day of celebration to fit the reality that Manteca will start the fiscal year on July 1 on the path to a possible $11.3 million deficit.

Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford said he understood the need to shift the official Independence Day celebration in Manteca but asked municipal staff to keep in mind in future years when the economic outlook of the city improved “to continue to try to have the Fourth of July on the Fourth of July.”

Police and firefighters who work holidays such as the Fourth of July receive overtime pay. Due to increased crowds as well as fire safety issues which require firemen to be on standby at the aerial fireworks launch site, additional police officers and firefighters are needed during the celebration.

The city can still have additional manpower for the celebration on July 3 by shifting staffing around and avoid paying those called into work overtime plus holiday pay.

Upwards of $20,000 that will be used to pay for the aerial display and day-time activities is coming from bonus bucks paid by new home builders to secure the certainty of residential sewer allocations. That is roughly what builders paid to secure two allocations. The plan though is to replace the bonus bucks.

They will try to accomplish that by charging a $2 admission for adults, $1 for ages 13 to 12, while those 11 and under will get in free to the community Fourth of July party that starts at 4 p.m. and ends around 10:30 p.m. when the last fireworks explode in the high sky.

The entertainment will at the Big League Dreams sports complex where the aerial fireworks will take place July 3. Zambelli Fireworks has indicated they will do a “superior” 18-to-20 minute show at a lower cost of $16,000 due partially to holding the aerial fireworks display on July 3 when there is less demand for their services.

The city is imposing a fee of $100 per vendor as well as a token $2 admission fee to access all kids’ activities. The city is dropping expensive professional entertainment and using community entertainers instead.

The city currently has $4,300 in the fireworks donation account and $3,700 in the Fourth of July community events donations account. What isn’t covered by those two accounts and any new donations or fees collected during the celebration will be covered by the bonus bucks.

Staff is asking to have $20,000 in bonus bucks earmarked. Staff anticipates, though, that the subsidy will end up being between $4,000 and $15,000 which will allow the balance to be returned to the bonus bucks account.