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Suisun in the News

27 Jan 2012

Supporters Line Up to Revive Fireworks Show

By Ian Thompson, Daily Republic

SUISUN CITY — Suisun City’s ad hoc committee is beginning to gather supporters willing to fund a Fourth of July fireworks show and is reaching further into the community to see who else is willing to help make the city’s most popular public event happen.

Suisun City staff members plan to ask the City Council at its Feb. 7 meeting if the council wants to push to have a fireworks show this year or wait until 2013.

The city’s ad hoc committee spent the last few weeks putting out feelers to see if it can get enough financial support to pay for the July 4 fireworks show with an initial goal of raising at least $50,000. The city hopes to raise between $80,000 and $100,000 by summer to pay for the festival’s costs.

“The committee has been talking to people we know to see if there is an interest in pledging money to make this happen,” Suisun City Manager Suzanne Bragdon said.

So far, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. committed to giving $10,000 to fund the fireworks while The Kroc Center, Potrero Hills Landfill and Solano Garbage all indicated they are interested in helping out, according to Bragdon.

Late last year, the council eliminated the entire budget for public events on the waterfront because nearly all of the costs were borne by the city’s redevelopment agency budget, which is being eliminated by the state. This spelled the end for nearly all of the city’s events, from the Fourth of July fireworks and Christmas on the Waterfront to the summertime concerts and movies, unless other sources of funding are found.

Suisun City Hall also wants to find funding for the Christmas event, but is concentrating its efforts on Fourth of July since it is only six months away.

City staff will also ask the council on Feb. 7 if it is willing to allow Safe and Sane fireworks to be sold by local nonprofit organizations in town in July. A portion of the sales would go to the nonprofits, while the city also takes a cut. Bragdon estimates Suisun City could raise about $100,000 to support public events.

Among Solano County’s cities, only Dixon and Rio Vista allow Safe and Sane fireworks to be sold in city limits.

Suisun City Chief Mike O’Brien said he is among a minority of fire chiefs who believe selling Safe and Sane fireworks will not pose a fire safety problem.

“I know of no fires caused by Safe and Sane fireworks in our city,” O’Brien said. “If people are able to buy Safe and Sane fireworks, we won’t have so many illegal fireworks going off in our city.”

O’Brien said his firefighters have had to deal with illegal fireworks brought into town that, in some cases, ”were bigger than the fireworks done at the fireworks show.”

Community Services Director Mick Jessop said he has talked with Solano Community College’s theater officials about doing theatrical productions in Harbor Square this summer, but is waiting to see what the ad hoc committee will come up with before doing anything formal.

“They want to continue to do Shakespeare in the Park. They also want to do some other performances on the stage during the summer,” Jessop said.

Ways to bring musical performances back to the Harbor Square are also being investigated.

Anyone interested in donating to support the Fourth of July fireworks show is asked to contact Scott Corey at 421-7333 or email scorey@suisun.com.