Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saving Wallingford’s Fireworks - Act VI

Saving Wallingford’s Fireworks

Act VI


2015 arrived with bountiful volumes of snow again this year and just as it was in 2013 and 2014, there was still a foot of snow on the ground through to the first week of April. This again hampered our collection efforts into mid-April. The seven volunteer spent much of that time sending out mailings to the residents and doing some canvas work of businesses in an effort to get sponsorships from them as we had done in prior years and we did a little pail shaking too.

This year I did not have my normal discussion with Mayor Dickinson. He has steadfastly maintained in all the years prior that the Town would not be able to partner with the Fund in covering some costs such as the cost of the employee overtime and services and I expected nothing different this year. Taxes went up (basically) $108.30 on average for the median assessed household and if the FULL SHOW was included in the taxes (all costs – including the fireworks) that would have made the tax increase go up an additional $2.00 to (about) $110.30.
Instead I watched during the budgets, the departments not ask the Mayor for consideration of the costs for the overtime, and I watched the Mayor not include it in his budget that was presented to the public and the Town Council.
I approached the Council regarding covering the $13,000 or so for the town services and after some discussions and deliberations, the Council did add seventy cents to the tax increase, taking it to (about) $109.00 to cover the town services for the July 4th Independence Day event which is now scheduled for July 11th on the school grounds on the west side of town.
With that, the seven volunteers continued our efforts to raise the $16,000 still needed.
The end result of the efforts were a success even without a major corporate sponsor. Over the prior three years Gale Development and the Campus at Greenhill donated $15,000 (2012), $15,000 (2013), and $10,000 (2014). We were hopeful for their partnership again in 2015 but it was not to pass. Regardless, we are thankful for all the help and support they have offered us over the past three years. They have indicated their desire to work with us for future events so I am still hopeful that we may be able to approach them again for future events. We will continue to look to other Wallingford corporations to support this event and sponsor it in 2016.
The residents and businesses of Wallingford, as well as some supporting friends and neighbors from other towns, made sure 2015 did not pass without a celebration of the birth of our nation. Like so many of us with actual birthdays on one day and a party on another when it’s more convenient – Wallingford celebrates the 239th birthday of the United States of America on July 11, 2015.
To every supporter of the Wallingford Fireworks Fund – thank you for six years of support – we could NOT do this without you


Jason Zandri

President – Wallingford Fireworks Fund

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