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Is $30K Too Much for Big Bay Boom in IB?

IB can keep its largest event of the year if the city comes up with about $30,000, said Big Bay Boom Executive Director Sandy Purdon.

The Port of San Diego's Board of Port Commissioners delayed a decision on how to fund Fourth of July fireworks at their meeting Tuesday, Port spokeswoman Tanya Castaneda said.

It is not known when the issue will be revisited, but it may be on the agenda of the next meeting scheduled to take place Feb. 12.

Last month, Big Bay Boom Executive Director Sandy Purdon told the City of Imperial Beach he needed to know if the city would participate in the fireworks show before he planned to speak with port commissioners Tuesday.

Purdon said the chances of IB participating in the 2013 Big Bay Boom is 50-50. The city would need to come up with $30,000-40,000 to participate, but have only agreed to consider $10,000 or less.

"We had a meeting with Sandy about it and explained what the council had said we were willing to bear," Mayor Jim Janney told IB Patch Wednesday. "Because of those [public safety and public work costs], there might not be any flexibility in there. I would say it's not looking good at the moment, but I can't say it's something that won't happen. I think since we've got this extra month you never know."

Since funding from cities, sponsors and the Port of San Diego is a "week to week thing," no specific deadline has been set for when IB needs to come up with the funds, but an answer is needed in the "next couple of months," Purdon said.

Garden State Fireworks has agreed to wait until after the Feb. 12 Port meeting before signing a contract, Purdon said.

"We will try and keep the window open for them if funds can be found to come close to match what was done last year. We will need some support from the IB business community also," he told IB Patch Tuesday.

The Imperial Beach Business Improvement District agreed to give $10,000, the same amount it gave for the show in 2012, if the city contributed funds.

, the Imperial Beach City Council proposed that $10,000 or less be set aside to pay for Independence Day fireworks, though city staff estimate that at least $30,000 is necessary to pay emergency personnel. No vote to commit any amount of money took place.

Some Councilmembers said they wanted the Port of San Diego and Pacifica Companies, owner of the new Pier South hotel due to open in the coming months, to give more to the Big Bay Boom if they want to see the show take place in IB.

According to the Jan. 8 meeting agenda, the Port planned to give $125,000 in funding and $50,000 in services for this year's Big Bay Boom, $20,000 less than last year, Purdon said.

Since he expects water monitoring tests in San Diego Bay to increase costs $30,000, Purdon said he planned to ask for $170,000.

Pacifica did not respond to request for comment from IB Patch after the Dec. 12 meeting.

Last year the Big Bay Boom made headlines across the world when it was cut short by a malfunction that caused more than $100,000 in fireworks to go off in less than 30 seconds.

A study funded by Purdon and carried out by economists at Point Loma Nazarene University found that the Big Bay Boom has an overall $10.6 million economic impact for cities who host the show.

Councilmembers and city officials expressed doubt that a lot of that money reaches IB. City Manager Gary Brown said the city's sales tax sees no impact from the fireworks show and the city should consider its poor economic outlook.

Following the end of the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, the Big Bay Boom became the largest single event of the year in Imperial Beach. Lifeguards estimate that 80,000 people visited the IB shoreline on July 4, 2012.

The Imperial Beach City Council cut the money needed to cover the event's safety personnel from their 2012-13 budget in June 2012. Then the city said it may seek ways to pay for the event beyond its general fund, but no fundraising ever took place.

Libi Uremovic January 09, 2013 at 08:51 PM
i went through the check register for the last 2 years and i only found the following expenses: for the 2010 fireworks... 07/09/10 - check # 71251 - $15,000 - sd armed svcs - july 4th fireworks - 2011... 04/21/11 - check # 78151 - $6,000 - ymca armed svcs - big bay sponsors 06/10/11 - check # 78462 - $3,000 - armed services - 2011 sponsor big bay fireworks 2012 04/19/12 - check # 80389 - $10,000 - armed services - july 4th fireworks 08/31/12 - check # 81116 - $583.28 - city of chula vista - 4th july animal control svcs there was no additional charge from the sheriff's dept in either 2011 or 2011 ...i looked for a check for porta-potty rental because i assumed with 80,000 people there would be porta-potties ....but i'm told there were no porta poties rented ... aside from the fireworks and the dog catcher the city put forth no effort or expense to provide an event to generate revenue for the community.... if there is no effort - there is no reward...
Dennis Lepak January 10, 2013 at 01:52 AM
I thought the fireworks operator of last year's fiasco was going to do it for free this year. Shouldn't they be at least be giving a very big discount?
Jon Hall January 10, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Sad thing about the city leaders in IB --- whenever there is an opportunity to have a BIG BOOM they always settle for a little fizzle ...
Shorebird January 10, 2013 at 04:39 PM
How about asking for a little $$$ from the Pacifica multi-million dollar hotel. It should be open by then right???
Pamela Olvera January 10, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Animal control has drove down my street 5 times since this morning. I'll take a picture next time :) City must have a huge gas budget or access to an oil well ! :) Maybe they're looking to capture all the parrots in town ...! PRIORITIES!
Mark January 10, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Skip the water monitoring and there is plenty of money for the fireworks.

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