Ka-blooey! July 4 fireworks on hit list


Victim of $627K budget shortfall

For the second year in a row, the Fourth of July fireworks show at Crowley Lake is facing elimination because of a Town of Mammoth Lakes budget shortfall.

The show, which is budgeted for $34,650, would be eliminated in a new set of 10 “balancing recommendations” that the town staff put before the Town Council at its meeting on Wednesday, May 15.

Rather than the traditional fireworks at the lake, a possible alternative option would be to help fund $5,000 for the POPS in the Park music show, and to funnel $5,000 more to the Chamber of Commerce for a “town-wide, multi-day Fourth of July celebration.”

The savings would be $24,650, according to an agenda bill sent to the Town Council during a workshop session.

Details of what might be included in the July 4 weekend were yet to be listed in the bill before the council.

The option of ending the Crowley fireworks came as a result of a revised 2013-14 fiscal year budget shortfall that is worse than originally perceived.

On May 1, Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez told the council that the town would come up $562,527 short unless balancing options are put in place.

That figure grew to $626,627 in the past two weeks after the staff reviewed actual revenues and expenditures through March 31, according to an agenda bill that went before the council in a workshop previous to the council meeting on Wednesday.

The council, which must approve the 2013-14 budget before the start of the new fiscal year that begins on July 1, did not vote on any of the recommendations, nor was the council expected to take a vote.

Rather, it heard more options in a process in which Marysheva-Martinez on May 1 characterized as “all bad” for balancing the budget.

This was not unfamiliar ground.

Last year, the council found itself in almost the same circumstance, but pulled off the fireworks show nevertheless.

In the glorious, profitable past (except for the disastrous 2006 show, cancelled at the last minute because of an insurance snafu), the town spent up to $37,000 for the Crowley show, and routinely recouped some of the money from a cut of vehicle fees.But these are not those days.

The sudden inclusion of a fireworks show on the hit list came as a result of additional sales tax analysis for the current fiscal year.

In that analysis, the town staff revealed a need to further reduce the current fiscal year estimate and the 2013-14 baseline projection.

The analysis, performed by the consulting firm HdL, captured actual sales through December 2012 and resulted in the following adjustments:

nFiscal year 2012-13 year-end estimate, from $1,883,735 to $1,825,520—a reduction of $58,215 reduction for the current year.

nFiscal year 2013-14 baseline budget estimate from $1,838,679 to $1,767,156—a $71,523 reduction for the current year.