Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kicking off the 2015 Fireworks Collections

Well gang – there may be three feet of snow still on the ground but only 12 weeks remain for us to collect the $15,000.00 donation for the 2015 4th of July Independence Day celebration as the office of the Mayor of the Town of Wallingford requires all the funds in for the show by the last Friday in May.

For 2015, the Wallingford Fireworks Fund is only collecting for the fireworks (the pyrotechnics) which is a departure from what we have done the prior five years. We will not be collecting for the town services; Police overtime, Fire Department overtime, Public Works overtime, Board of Education overtime and so on.

The Fund feels that it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the Fund nor the donors to cover overtime for town employees.

Since 2010, these are the total amounts of overtime and other services The Wallingford Fireworks fund, through its donors, has paid to the employees of the Town of Wallingford:

Police Overtime   $40,501.00
Fire Department / Overtime   $10,200.00
Fire Marshall   $4,450.00
Public Works   $1,055.00
Board of Ed   $1,610.00
All totals   $57,816.00

We’ve entered into a dialog with the town regarding this; they are planning a discussion during the upcoming budget workshops.

The estimated cost for services for 2015 that the Town of Wallingford will need to cover are:

Police Overtime   $9,004.00
Fire Department / Overtime   $2,400.00
Port-o-lets   $200.00
Fire Marshall   $950.00
Board of Ed   $480.00
2014 Total   $13,034.00

Because there is no expectation to have the R Band this year, there is no expectation to have costs for Public Works overtime for the event.

The Fund spoke at a recent Council meeting on the topic and pledged the $15,000.00 (provided we can raise it all) as long as the town covers it’s services.

With that, we will begin collecting this Saturday, March 7th, at the North Colony Dunkin Donuts (near Shop Rite) from 8AM to about noon. We will also be collecting at the Wallingford Landfill the same hours – 8AM to about noon.

Alternately – you can mail your tax deductable donation (we are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization - tax id# is 27-2576599) to:

Wallingford Fireworks Fund
c/o 35 Lincoln Drive EXT
Wallingford CT 06492

We also accept donations online via Paypal

We hope you can help out in any way you can; every dollar helps.

I also want to make two things crystal clear in an effort to be as transparent as possible – if the Town of Wallingford chooses to NOT fund the overtime for the town services (the above total estimated at about $13,000.00) the show will NOT take place on the grounds of the schools where they have been for the past five decades.

At that point, The Fund will look for another location to host the event privately and enter into an agreement with a vendor to have the show. There are a number of pitfalls with trying to do this on our own. At the very least and with a limited budget at that point they would likely NOT be on Saturday July 4th.

I wanted to point out these two very important caveats before people started to donate. I wanted them to understand that there is a real risk of the show NOT being on the west side of town and a real risk of it not being held on Saturday July 4th.

As always – I am available for direct contact via Jason@Zandri.net or on my cell phone at 860 614 6069.

Thank you all for your prior support and your consideration for 2015

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