WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Do you like the idea of Manteca celebrating the Fourth of July with its community celebration and aerial fireworks on July 3 in order to save money? Vote yes or no by going to www.mantecabulletin.com and scrolling down to today’s poll question.
It’s a decision that in the past has prompted some to stridently question the Manteca City Council’s collective patriotism.
But it is a move that allowed Manteca to retain its aerial fireworks display while many other cities up and down the Central Valley dropped them due to the ongoing budget crisis.
The City Council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., will decide whether to continue celebrating Independence Day on July 3.
The decision to move to July 3 would impact only city-sponsored events. The initial year the Manteca Kiwanis moved their annual breakfast to July 3 along with the Sunrise Kiwanis shifting the parade. Last year, however, the two service groups kept their sponsored Independence Day events on the Fourth of July.
The move will save the city $13,244.
The savings are realized primarily through:
•the fireworks firm doing an 18- to 20-minute show for $6,000 less than if the same aerial production took place on the Fourth of July. Zambelli Fireworks is charging $16,000 for the fireworks show.
•avoiding paying additional police officers needed for security overtime for working the Fourth of July.
The city will accept donations to help pay for the celebration. Also the fireworks have been supported in part during previous years with proceeds from the fireworks booth operated by the Manteca Police Officers Association.
The city would again charges fees for admittance to the entertainment, games, and other activities as well as the fireworks at the Big League Dreams sports complex.
The cost would be $2 for adults, 41 for youth ages 13 and 17m and free for those 12 and under.
Vendors will be charged $100 for booths. There will also be a token admission of $2 for the kids’ activities.
What isn’t covered by money raised will be taken from $58,000 set aside in the budget. They money represents bonus bucks which are unrestricted growth fees paid by developers for sewer allocation certainty.
Assistant City Manager Karen McLaughlin in her staff report noted that the switch to July 3 for the past two years saw increased sales at various non-profit operated fireworks as people were able to have their own family or neighborhood shows and still attend the aerial fireworks.
McLaughlin noted the “changes did not affect the quality of the event, but reduced the cost of the event.”