One very small impact to this year’s municipal budget is the annual fireworks display. Funds for the annual event that is usually held around Independence Day have been paid for in previous years through donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. The cost for fireworks has generally been around $10,000. This year, there appears to be $6,900 left from those donations given throughout the years and the remaining $3,100 will have to come from taxes; that is, unless enough donations come in to pay for them.
As reported last year by Roselle Park News, comments were made by the then governing body during the capital budget workshops that donations were low.
At this most recent budget workshop on February 11th, the current governing body brought up the event with First Ward Councilman Eugene Meola suggesting that fireworks could be canceled.
“Is it something we need to reconsider?”, he asked, “I know a lot of people like it, but if it’s something that we can’t afford, we can’t afford it.”
Councilwoman-At-Large Charlene Storey responded, “We can put it out and see what kind of response we get from residents before it’s finalized. My gut reaction is that people won’t be happy if we cut it.”
She went on to encourage members of council to ask their constituents what their thoughts would be about the possibility of canceling the event.
Councilman Meola added, “If it’s a choice between another bulk or fireworks, it’s better the bulk [is done].”
This was in line with mayor and council putting a second bulk pick-up in this year’s budget.
The governing body notified the councilman that the cost for fireworks is $10,000 and an additional bulk would be an over $40,000 expense. There was no discussion regarding the decision made by council this year to appoint a municipal prosecutor for an additional $15,000 when the current Borough Attorney’s firm offered, and has performed, that function at zero cost to taxpayers for years; an amount that would have more than covered fireworks and other town events.
Anyone wishing to donate can reach out to Karen Intile from the Casano Community Center at (908) 245-0666, Borough Hall at (908) 245-6222, or members of the governing body including Mayor Hokanson.