West Deptford Family Fun Day will have fireworks after all this year, announced Deputy Mayor Sean Kilpatrick at the Thursday meeting of the township committee.
“It’s a value to the community and something that I grew up doing," Kilpatrick said after the meeting. "One of our brands as a community is recreation and bringing the family together, and that’s something that this accomplishes.”
Although the approved 2013 budget included $5,000 for a fireworks show at the event, Kilpatrick said that township officials had negotiated a $1,250 price break from vendor Schaefer Pyrotechnics.
But despite the proposed $1,250 savings, Committewoman Denice DiCarlo suggested that the money could be otherwise spent restoring some of the cuts to township services in the amended 2013 budget.
“We decided to cut half-a-million dollars out of public works, but we left $5,000 for fireworks?” DiCarlo asked.
“Don’t we think it might be better to take the $5,000 that was allocated and put it to the roads or the leaf collection or something? Has anyone considered that?”
Mayor Ray Chintall responded that “from past experience” events like the community day “are of socially redeeming value.”
A year ago, the mayor had a different take on things, however, when the township had to eat $2,500 to cancel a fireworks display that had been postponed by rain.
In October 2012, West Deptford Patch reported that Chintall thought it was more prudent to dedicate the remaining $2,500 to an $18,000 repair job for the RiverWinds Community Center pool heater.
“Personally, for five minutes of excitement, I'd rather have heated water,” Chintall said at the time.
The motion passed 3-1 with Committeewoman Donna Szymborski absent and DiCarlo voting against.