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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The Jamestown Labor Day Festival returns for the first time in three years this weekend, a big part of festivities is the fireworks. The cost however, brings up some concerns.
City of Jamestown resident Doug Champ spoke out at Monday’s City Council voting session, asking if the high price tag is worth it.
“$19,500 dollars, appropriated for commercial community fireworks show,“ explained Champ. “If the show runs 15 minutes, that’s $1,300 dollars a minute.”
Instead of using that money on a fireworks display, Champ suggests using the funds to enhance the Parks Department, buying many park benches, picnic tables, among other projects.
“You can create a tree and shrubbery specimen botanical garden, for people to look and observe various species that can grow in our zone with potential use in their property,” stated Champ. “You can buy 19 full-sized picnic tables at $1,000 dollars a pop. you can buy 195 bags of groceries, $100 per bag and give it to the soup kitchen.”
Champ went on to outline what he calls negative environmental impacts, the fireworks create.
Council President Tony Dolce, while understanding what Champ had to say, rebutted that quality of life is a critical aspect to consider.
“People enjoy it, they’ve come to expect it, especially on Labor Day,” explained President Dolce. “A lot of people, that’s the highlight of the day for them, they go up and picnic, again I understand his concerns but I just think it’s one of things where the community, it’s been three years since they’ve had a chance to really celebrate. And it’s not something we do every day.”
In the end, the City Council did approve the firework’s purchase for this year’s display, which happens Sunday at dusk at Bergman Park in Jamestown.
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