|Parks & Community Services Commission Forum:||The Parks & Community Services Commission will hold two community forums to hear from the community about the 4th of July event in 2013 and beyond. >>Download the forum information|
The San Ramon City Council Asks for Citizen Input as they Consider Options for the Future of the Annual 4th of July Fireworks Show
San Ramon, CA – The San Ramon City Council will consider options and make a determination as to the immediate future of the annual San Ramon 4th of July fireworks show during their regular meeting on February 14, 2012 located at 2226 Camino Ramon. The Council is asking all San Ramon residents to provide input into this decision by either attending the meeting or by submitting their input in writing.
The City of San Ramon has provided an aerial fireworks display annually on the 4th of July since 1985. The event has been very successful to date and has brought recognition to the City. However, due to the economic slowdown, many other cities in the region have canceled their fireworks leaving San Ramon as one of the only aerial fireworks locations between Concord, Berkeley, Manteca and Milpitas. This has shifted the event from a local community focused event to a regional event with large crowds coming into the City from the greater Bay Area.
In 2011, the City was greatly impacted by the record crowds, causing gridlock due to increased pedestrian, vehicular traffic and parking build-up in the areas surrounding Central Park between 8:00pm and 11:00pm prohibiting emergency vehicle movement. Numerous serious incidents occurred in the surrounding commercial properties, parks and neighborhoods that required San Ramon Valley Fire and San Ramon Police response.
This increase in attendance in the Central Park area caused overloaded restrooms, garbage and made movement through the parks pathways very difficult. Increased use of prohibited portable BBQs contributed to several small fires being started and City staff has seen an increase in alcohol in the park, which is also prohibited. Finally, there was an increase in property damage throughout Bishop Ranch Business Park and the other surrounding commercial properties.
San Ramon Police, Public Services and Parks & Community Services have nearly all personnel on-duty during the morning fitness race and evening fireworks event. The need to provide safety and security in the park, shoot site, parking lots and surrounding areas while simultaneously providing safe traffic control measures and pedestrian access has stretched current City resources to the limit.
City staff has outlined for the City Council what additional resources will need to be allocated to provide an event that addresses these safety concerns. In 2011 the budget for the event was approximately $175,000 in expenditures. In order to secure the additional necessary equipment, contractors and personnel to provide a safe 2012 event, City staff estimates increasing the budget to $318,000.
“Public safety and the protection of San Ramon neighborhoods is the City of San Ramon’s number one priority” said San Ramon Police Chief Scott Holder. “The City’s current resources are stretched thin and our goal is to provide a safe, secure event.”
The Parks & Community Service Commission deliberated this item at their December 2011 meeting. The Commission recommended that the fireworks be cancelled in order for the event to be reorganized in a future year, as a smaller, community focused program.
The San Ramon City Council is seeking input from all San Ramon residents by either attending the meeting, or taking a few minutes prior to the meeting on February 14, 2012 to submit their input for the future of the July 4th fireworks event. Residents who cannot attend the meeting can send comments via email to email@example.com, submit them in person at City Hall (located at 2226 Camino Ramon, attn: City Clerk) or online at www.SanRamon.ca.gov/fireworks. All comments received by the City Clerk’s office prior to 3:00pm on the February 14, 2012 will be included in the evenings meeting and reviewed by the Council. Residents are encouraged to review the staff report and assessment, available on the City website, outlining the history of the event and identified concerns prior to the meeting.
“It is very important that we hear directly from residents to determine the future of this event” said Mayor Bill Clarkson. “It will require a significant City investment during lean years to provide a safe, quality event. The Council wants to make a decision that is truly reflective of our resident’s priorities.”