No Columbus funding for next years Fabulous 4th

Published 1:03 pm Friday, July 2, 2010

Tomorrows Fabulous Fourth of July celebration could be the last town funded celebration for a while. Columbus Town Council approved last week a budget for the new fiscal year that included no funding for next years festival.

Zambellis, which contracts with the town for the annual fireworks show, told officials the town can cancel its contract for next year. Council decided to wait until the first of next year to cancel the contract in hopes that someone will volunteer to pay for the fireworks. The town pays $9,000 for the firework show.

If no one steps up, the town says it will cancel the contract in January.

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Council members say they still want to hold a festival, but they want to turn the festival back into the hands of the community, inviting people to play music and inviting vendors such as churches to come and sell homemade ice cream.

The town doesnt pay for the rides and makes a profit off a percentage of sales, but it covers other expenses, including the fireworks, port-a-jons, golf carts, police, public works and clean-up costs.

The town spent $31,650 last year on the annual festival. Although it receives some revenue and donations, the revenue is never enough to cover the costs.

The town’s decision to cut Fabulous 4th costs next year was one of the major budget cuts made because of the economy and deficits in the town’s water and sewer fund.

Tomorrows festival will run as usual; the town has $13,650 in the new budget to pay the remaining costs of this year’s event.

The towns new fiscal year began yesterday.