Not a single dollar of taxpayer money funds these NJ fireworks shows
Each year on the Fourth of July, thousands upon thousands of people flood Beachwood to take in the borough's annual fireworks display.
In the end, around $20,000 has to be put out in order for the night to be smooth and successful. And not one taxpayer dollar is used to cover the tab.
"We rely 100% on people, residents, businesses. whoever can make a donation," Beachwood Mayor Ronald Roma told Townsquare Media.
Donations have funded the booming celebration for several decades now, meaning the show doesn't hang each year on the strength of the municipal budget.
Folks know they can come by Borough Hall to make a donation, Roma said, or send one through the mail. Donations are also collected each year at the fireworks show.
"Using sponsorships instead of municipal funds makes good sense for everyone," said Michael Darcy, executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
Even with enough donated funds to put on a show, Darcy said, there are additional costs that may still fall on a town, including crowd and parking control, as well as cleanup.
Perth Amboy and South Amboy have launched efforts with a nonprofit to raise an ambitious $120,000 for their joint fireworks display over the Raritan Bay on July 3. The event, free of charge, typically attracts tens of thousands of attendees.
When municipal budgets are strained, fireworks displays can be one of the first items to get the axe. "Operating at a loss" in recent years, Wyckoff's annual fireworks show was recently canceled, according to NorthJersey.com.
Other municipalities in the area, the article said, are battling with an increasing number of residents who refuse to pay to attend their town's show when they can see it clearly from their own yards.
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