Friday, December 12, 2014

Fireworks company offers Yorba Linda steep discount 'to redeem' this year's poor display

While Yorba Lindans are stringing lights, placing wreaths and completing other decorating tasks for Christmas, city officials already are planning for next year's July 4 festivities, hoping an earlier start will improve on this year's less-than-spectacular fireworks display.

The city's most-watched event will proceed with the same company supplying the pyrotechnics, as it has for all but one show since the first in 1989, but with a steep discount “to redeem” the poor 2014 presentation, according to a recent unanimous City Council vote.

Payment to Rialto-based Pyro Spectaculars for an 18-minute, 5,188-shell display is “not to exceed $20,000,” noted council's authorization, with a deposit due Jan. 1. Total discount is a $10,500 credit for the 2014 show, $10,000 for fireworks and $500 for post-show cleanup.

The company acknowledged unsatisfactory performance and offered a discount “contingent on the city signing a contract for the 2015 fireworks show,” giving the firm a chance “to redeem themselves with a show that is as good or better” than past displays, stated Parks and Recreation Director Bill Calkins in a report to council.

And the firm “has agreed to include additional language into the contract to help insure similar problems do not occur” in 2015, Calkins added. “The language includes specific times for product delivery and set up as well as experience guidelines for the lead fireworks technician and the fireworks crew.”

Total cost for next year's event is projected at $54,000, based on last year's cost for the fete, which started at 5 p.m. at Veterans Park on Valley View Avenue, and includes personnel, equipment, fireworks and entertainment, Calkins noted.

Two revenue streams help finance the event: The $23,360 yearly rent for the cell tower site at Brush Canyon Park and the $15,000 three-month rent from the pumpkin patch and Christmas tree lot on city-owned property at Imperial Highway and Yorba Linda Boulevard.

Calkins noted that 2015 “will most likely be the last year” for the latter revenue “due to the Town Center development.” Also, the city generated $9,050 from sponsorships and misce-llaneous sales at last year's event, which the city hopes to “maintain or exceed.”

The 2015 event will mark the 27th anniversary of the popular gathering that replaced many block parties and family celebrations featuring “safe and sane” fireworks sold by local non-profit organizations as fundraisers.

The council outlawed the sale and use of individual fireworks in 1987 after a 1986 advisory vote in which residents cast 8,651 votes supporting a ban and 4,207 against. The city-sponsored display survived an effort to cancel the event in 2010 on a 3-2 council vote.

Seven county cities allow state-approved fireworks: Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Stanton. Westminster and Huntington Beach reversed 20-year-old voter-approved bans in 2010 and 2012.