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posted: 3/15/2013 5:43 PM

Roselle likely to cancel July 4 fireworks

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  • Roselle is expected to cancel its Fourth of July fireworks show after a fundraising campaign came up short.

    Roselle is expected to cancel its Fourth of July fireworks show after a fundraising campaign came up short.
    Daily Herald file photo


Efforts to bring Fourth of July fireworks back to Roselle fizzled Friday when the town's "Get a Bang for Your Buck" campaign failed to reach its initial $15,000 fundraising goal.

Still, Mayor Gayle Smolinski said the proposed fireworks show won't officially be canceled until after the village board reviews the campaign results during its Monday meeting.

"I need to get the board's feeling for what they want to do," Smolinski said. She said she wants to make sure trustees are still comfortable with a plan to cancel this year's display and put the money collected toward a 2014 show.

The fundraising campaign was launched in late September with the goal of raising a total of $25,000 in donations. The Friday deadline to raise $15,000 was established to give village officials time to secure a vendor. As of late Friday afternoon, the village had collected $8,762.

Smolinski said she was surprised the campaign fell short. "I really thought it (the fireworks show) was something people loved and they would make the effort to bring it back," she said.

Roselle has been facing budget shortfalls for several years caused by flat property and sales tax revenues and late reimbursements from the state. The village hasn't had room in its budget for fireworks for the past three years.

"When we're cutting our employees and cutting our programs," Smolinski said, "we just don't have $25,000 for fireworks."

Even though the village didn't have money for fireworks in 2010 or 2011, community groups such as the Roselle Chamber of Commerce and area businesses came to the rescue to pay for the display.

Last year, however, the village couldn't find a sponsor, and the show wasn't held.

Smolinski said the cancellation got the attention of disappointed residents who suggested donations be sought from the community.

Trustee Terrence Wittman said the problem is the fundraising campaign got a late start.

"I'm not surprised we didn't get it done this year," Wittman said Friday. "I think people are still thinking that the fireworks are going to be there."

Because it's a family oriented event, Smolinski said, she will be sad if the fireworks don't happen this year.

She said she plans to ask trustees if they would like to try to find the more than $6,000 needed to reach the $15,000 goal.

But with Roselle already having a $56,000 shortfall in its general fund, Wittman says it's unlikely money for fireworks could be found in the village's budget.

"The $15,000 was to start contract negotiations," Wittman said. "The real cost is anywhere from $22,000 to $25,000 to put on a display. I don't see us making up almost three-quarters of that."

Village officials have said that if subsequent fundraising goals are not met for the 2014 fireworks, the display will be canceled and collected money will be used to form a special events commission charged with planning events, such as the National Night Out Against Crime.

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