Will Elgin pay for Fourth of July fireworks next year?
The city of Elgin is unsure if the cosponsorship of the Fourth of July fireworks show will continue under the new owners of Grand Victoria Casino, so staff members proposed budgeting the $30,000 expense for 2019.
For the last four years, the casino has spent about $30,000 yearly for the fireworks show -- attended by about 8,000 people -- and the city has contributed about $30,000 worth of services such police and public works, said Barb Keselica, the city's special events and community engagement manager. Those figures do not include the casino's expenses for a concert and other entertainment at Festival Park before the fireworks, she said.
MGM Resorts International announced earlier this week that it finalized the sale of the casino to Eldorado Resorts Inc. after the Illinois Gaming Board gave its OK last week.
It's unclear if the new owners will want to sponsor the fireworks show, but the city likely will have to absorb the cost, Keselica said at the city council meeting Wednesday.
People have come to expect the city to offer a fireworks show, Mayor David Kaptain said. "I think the payback for us is great. I think it's part of the taxpayer obligation to do this kind of thing," he said.
Councilwoman Tish Powell said she would like the partnership to continue. City Manager Rick Kozal said city staff members will discuss the issue with the casino in the near future.
Casino spokeswoman Marilu Pilman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The city also organizes the Fourth of July parade, which this year cost $20,000, or $3,000 less than last year, Keselica said. Eighty-four floats participated in the parade and several groups were honored Wednesday night.
Gail Borden Public Library was recognized as the overall winner and also received the first-place award among organizations. United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 363 got the first-place business award, and Grupo de Danza Folklorico Quetzaly earned the top youth group award.