Fourth of July fireworks along Chula Vista’s bayfront will not be part of the summer holiday festivities this year. The $40,000 in funding for the annual fireworks display was one of the many painful cuts made in last December’s sweeping round of budget reductions, which totaled more than $15 million. On top of the expenses for the fireworks display, Fourth of July activities along the bayfront cost Chula Vista another $35,000 for city services including police and traffic control. Due to budget reductions, departments can no longer absorb those tens of thousands of dollars.
Another $10.1 million in deep cuts proposed by the City Manager for fiscal year 2008-09 is awaiting approval from the City Council. In less than two years, the City of Chula Vista has cut more than 200 positions and approximately $30 million to balance its budget. A virtual halt to new development, lower than expected sales taxes and franchise fees, and declining property values have contributed to the City’s financial dilemma.
Every city department has been affected by the budget cuts, including police and fire. Although city staff sought to minimize impacts to the public, Chula Vista residents are experiencing changes in city operations and services. Reduced staffing has resulted in shorter library hours, fewer recreation programs, longer response times for some police and animal control calls, increased waiting times at city counters, and a reduction in the quality of street and park maintenance.
City leaders intend to restore the July 4th fireworks display when finances improve. Other fireworks displays open to the public in the South County include:
- National City
Kimball Park; 9 p.m.
Glorietta Bay; 9 p.m.
- San Diego’s Big Bay Fireworks
North San Diego Bay; 9 p.m.