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Citrus Heights council to consider $80k proposal to bring back fireworks show

Stock photo, fireworks
Stock photo, fireworks.

Sentinel staff report–
The Citrus Heights City Council on Thursday will consider a proposal from the city manager to bring an aerial fireworks show to the city, funded by up to $80,000 in federal pandemic relief funds.

Unlike in prior years, the show is proposed to be funded by the city rather than Sunrise Mall, with the event proposed to be held at City Hall, with viewing from Van Maren Park, according to a formal recommendation to the City Council from City Manager Ash Feeney.

The prior fireworks show at the mall used to attract around 10,000 people each year, but was discontinued in 2012 by mall management due to costs, safety concerns, fire danger and future development plans. In following years, some community members and at least one council member have voiced support for bringing the show back.

In his recommendation included in the council’s Jan. 26 meeting agenda packet, Feeney said a fireworks show fits with the council’s strategic objective to look into hosting a patriotic event and noted that staff believe “a professional firework show and musical performance along with some supporting ancillary activities is viable.”

The proposal asks for the the council to consider allocating up to $80,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to cover the anticipated budget of $60-80,000. The cost would include: “planning and design work, purchase of the fireworks and delivery of the show by firework professionals, a musical performance, traffic control, staffing and other ancillary costs associated with putting on an event.”

The proposal asks the council to consider using federal ARPA funds “to help promote additional community building opportunities as residents recover from isolation associated with the pandemic.”

From 2022: Could a fireworks show return to Citrus Heights next year?

Although the proposal only focuses on one event in 2023, reference is made that the event “could potentially be a new annual patriotic event that could evolve and be refined in the coming years.” The event is proposed to take place on the Friday or Saturday prior to Independence Day, starting around 9:30 p.m. and lasting about 20 minutes.

Other locations to host the show were assessed by staff, Feeney’s report says, but locations like Rusch Park and Sunrise Mall were unappealing due to trees blocking visibility at Rusch Park and challenges with multiple owners and redevelopment plans at the mall. Limited parking near City Hall is noted, but the report says arrangements with nearby businesses with large lots for parking during non-peak hours could be made, and surrounding streets could be closed temporarily.

Feeney’s report noted that professional fireworks displays are controversial, with some residents in support and some opposed. He noted “concerns about negative impacts of fireworks on animals and also those that may experience post-traumatic stress disorder from a combat experience.”

From 2022: New ordinance bans all fireworks after 11 p.m. in Citrus Heights

Feeney said a fireworks expert contacted by the city indicated that professional fireworks shows are “believed to reduce the number of private fireworks that are used.” However, the city manager said “staff cannot represent if a professional show would result in a decrease or increase in the overall amount of fireworks used in the City.”

Council members will consider whether to approve the fireworks proposal during their Jan. 26 City Council meeting at City Hall, which begins at 6 p.m.

Public comments for the council meeting can be submitted to, with up to 250 words, or emailed directly to the City Council as a whole at Comments sent to the clerk will be read aloud during the meeting.

The full agenda packet and recommendation can be viewed online by clicking here.

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