Toms River Mayor Wants More Fireworks Shows, Threatens To Cut Funding Without Them

A budget battle is brewing in Toms River, with the mayor and business improvement district at odds over funding for fireworks shows. News12 reports that Mayor Dan Rodrick has allegedly threatened to cut the downtown business improvement district’s budget if 10 fireworks shows are not added, at a cost $70,000. Bob Shea, chairman of the Toms River Business Improvement District (TRBID), claims this is unprecedented in the organization’s 22-year history.

“The end effect of that, if that $70,000 is taken out of the operating budget, it would eliminate jobs and eliminate many of the events that we currently have on course,” Shea warned.

Toms River Councilman Dave Ciccozzi questioned the value of having fireworks every Friday night, suggesting one or two shows in the summer would be sufficient. However, the BID board estimates the true cost of 10 shows would be $126,000, forcing cuts to positions and other events.

The BID board voted to keep their original budget, excluding fireworks expenses. If the mayor and council fail to respond, Shea warns legal challenges may ensue. “If it doesn’t happen, we will have to look at other remedies. Legal challenges? Yep. That’s one of the alternatives.”

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