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updated: 1/22/2014 10:53 PM

Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin could partner for fireworks

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After hearing Grand Victoria Casino might want to partner with the city of Elgin to hold Fourth of July fireworks downtown, the Elgin City Council postponed making a decision about the expense.

Having fireworks at Festival Park would cost about $67,000, with about $26,000 of that being police, fire and public works personnel costs, according to the city's estimates.

The city council narrowly voted 5-4 in early December to forego partnering with Hoffman Estates for its yearly Northwest Fourth-Fest. The city was part of the event for the last two years, contributing $15,000 in cash plus $5,000 in personnel each year.

Discussions with casino officials just began, Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall said at the council meeting Wednesday night. As part of a preliminary proposal from the casino, the city would paying for labor costs, while the casino would take on the cost of fireworks and entertainment at Festival Park, Stegall said.

Last summer, the casino held three large outdoor concerts featuring well-known musical acts. The fireworks would be part of the second planned season of concerts, Stegall said.

Stegall advised the city council to make a decision Wednesday, because not doing so could negatively affect both the estimated cost and the chance of securing a vendor, he said. Still, the city council delayed voting.

Elgin used to hold Fourth of July fireworks at the Elgin Sports Complex until 2008, when the expense was cut from the budget due to the economic downturn.

The Sports Complex no longer can accommodate fireworks because the gravel pit used to launch them was eliminated after The Highlands of Elgin Golf Course was completed, Assistant City Manger Rick Kozal said.

They also can't be held at Jack Cook Regional Park, because the site still doesn't have parking, lighting or bathrooms, or at Elgin Community College, because of restrictions connected to wetlands, officials said.

Councilwomen Tish Powell and Anna Moeller said they'd like to have fireworks in Elgin again.

Councilman John Prigge, however, said Elgin residents should simply take advantage of fireworks in Hoffman Estates.

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