July 4 overview: Better enforcement makes for mellower holiday

Spectators enjoy the City of Long Beach fireworks show.

LONG BEACH — The Long Beach City Council and local business owners will split the costs of a 2020 Fourth of July fireworks show on the beach.

At a council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, the city council approved a plan to pay about $16,000 for the fireworks show, if Long Beach business owners agreed to pay $10,000 toward the cost of the event.

Business owners will also have to share some of the duties of the event, including handing out trash bags to encourage people to throw away debris from their holiday celebrations.

Whether the city would pay for a show this year became a point of contention during budget planning for 2020. The city did not fund a fireworks show in 2019 and planned to do the same in 2020 in order to put money toward other city needs. But in December, more than 40 Long Beach business owners filled the council meeting room and asked the fireworks show resume.

Some cited cherished memories of enjoying the show with relatives. Others argued that the Fourth of July weekend was one of the best days for sales all year.

The Fourth of July show costs about $30,000 to put on. In previous years, the city would ask Long Beach business owners for donations, but was only receiving about $6,000 in recent years, said City Administrator David Glasson.

Right now the city will cover about 68% of event costs and business owners will pay for the rest. Next year the city hopes to reduce its portion of the event cost to 42 percent.

More council action

Paved path to play: The council approved the paving of Culbertson Park to make the child play area, fields and remodeled dugouts all ADA accessible. The pavement will stretch from the paved parking lot on Washington Avenue and run between the two baseball fields to connect to the dugouts on Second Street. It will also connect to the child play area by the tennis courts and the basketball court on Second Street. About 75% of the costs for paving will be grant funded. Total cost to the city for the paving is about $8,000.

Fire chief, truck, bathroom: The city council approved a plan for a $1,500 remodel on the Long Beach Fire Hall bathroom. The council also allowed the fire department to decline two bids for its new fire truck. Neither company bidding met the requirements proposed by the fire department, so the department plans to rework its proposal and then go back out for another bid. Kyle Jewell was announced as the department’s new chief.

Mayor Pro Tem: Councilors re-elected Councilor Tina MacGuire as the city’s mayor pro tem. MacGuire will fill in as Mayor when Jerry Phillips isn’t available. A mayor pro tem is able do things such as run council meetings, but does not have the power to do things such as either hiring or firing. This will be MacGuire’s second year as mayor pro tem.

More required for lodging tax: The council approved lodging tax money to go to the Beach to Chowder event in 2020, but said the applications for events during the 2020 budget season will be more stringent than in past year. Glasson said the state requires the city to show how many people each event draws in to justify the funding.

Next meeting: The council’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Long Beach City Hall, 115 Bolstad Avenue.

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