Town spent $30K on its 4th festivities - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Town spent $30K on its 4th festivities

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Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 11:00 pm

Marana town government pulled off its relocated Star-Spangled Spectacular Fourth of July celebration for $30,000, less than the $35,000 anticipated and nearly half what the town spent in previous years at Ora Mae Harn Park, parks and recreation director Tom Ellis told the Marana Town Council last week.

More than 18,000 people watched the Marana Fourth of July fireworks up close, in and near the Arizona Pavilions retail complex, Ellis said. Some 4,000 designated parking spaces were filled, and areas designated as no-parking places were occupied as well. There were two "minor" traffic accidents, and one disturbance.

"Everyone behaved themselves," and trash was picked up, Ellis said. "The community needs to be commended."

Ellis said town government incurred 723 billable personnel hours, most of it for police protection, associated with the event. There were 120 overtime hours, though most of the police time "was flexed through the next week," and was not compensated at overtime rates. Total town employee hours spent on the Fourth of July event were fewer than "what we spent setting it up and tearing it down" in previous years at Ora Mae Harn Park.

Nearby businesses "reported record sales," Ellis said, with general increases of 30 to 35 percent from normal early July afternoons and evenings. "Everyone's excited and anxious to try the event again next year," he said. Partnerships created with and among businesses in and near the Arizona Pavilions were most gratifying for Ellis, who thanked event sponsors.

Ellis gave specific recognition to special events coordinator Adelina Martin, who pulled off her first major event. "She did a wonderful job," Ellis said.

Ellis said traffic flow and pedestrian safety were identified as areas that could be improved. "Solutions are being considered for next year," he said. Next year, Ellis continued, the town hopes to incorporate the Star-Spangled Spectacular into the new Cortaro-Silverbell park now under construction.

"I was asked several times if we were ready," Ellis said. "I told them 'ask me after the event, and we'll let you know.'"

"You did a great job, and it was a great, cooperative effort," Mayor Ed Honea said. "During these really tough times, it's nice to have an event like that."

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