San Bruno saves some bucks on July Fourth enforcement

Fireworks sellers expected to cover city’s costs, which were $10,000 less than 2005

SAN BRUNO — The city spent some $53,000 on police, fire and cleanup costs this Fourth of July holiday — a figure that was nearly $10,000 less than last year’s tally.

These figures fall in line with what Police and Fire Department officials called one of the quietest Fourth celebrations in years. Fire Chief Dan Voreyer said the fact that the holiday fell on a Tuesday this year and the stepped -up efforts by the department to highlight the dangers of fireworks might have also contributed to the decreased cost of enforcement this year.

As usual, San Bruno is poised to recoup the $53,314 in costs, which include public education on fireworks danger, from the band of local organizations that sell fireworks as a fundraiser.

Finance officials last week issued invoices to the 17 local nonprofits —including the San Bruno chapter of the Rotary Club and baseball, softball and football teams — that contributed to more than $688,000in gross fireworks sales this year, according to Assistant Finance Director Nick Pegueros.

The groups have 30 days to reimburse the city with their share of the costs.

“We always have a 100 percent return record with these groups,” Pegueros said. “In fact, we’re already starting to get some of this money back.”

The San Bruno Police Association raised the most this year, with more than $66,000 in gross sales. They therefore, based on a city-determined formula, will pay the most to cover the $53,000 enforcement tab.

A $750 permit is required beforehand for any groups wanting to sell fireworks. This figure is subtracted from the total amount they owe the city once the figures are tabulated.

Last year, City Manager Connie Jackson said the city accrued approximately $62,000 in police, fire and cleanup costs on the Fourth of July.

In Pacifica, the only other Peninsula city to allow the sale and use of “safe-and-sane” fireworks each Fourth of July, police and fire costs were $17,820, Finance Director and City Treasurer Maureen Lennon said. That figure is also lower than last year’s enforcement tally, which was $19,300.

Though fireworks sales have been frowned upon for safety reasons by neighboring cities such as South San Francisco, local organization leaders, like San Bruno Rotary Club chair Bob George, say they rely on the hefty sales to beef up their coffers.

tramroop@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocalPeninsula

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