East Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - The East Syracuse fireworks show, an annual tradition for more than 40 years, has been grounded by budget troubles.
The decision is setting off opposition from hundreds who want to save the show.
Rebecca Riley has never missed an East Syracuse fireworks show. When she heard they were cancelled, it sparked an idea.
“I thought we might catch the eye of the village who would say ‘people really do care about this, maybe we should figure something out.’” Riley said.
She started an online petition which now has more than 650 signatures of support. But the real support needed to save the show is money, which the village didn't have in the budget.
East Syracuse Mayor Robert Tackman told NewsChannel 9, “We went through the budget and if it wasn't a necessary expense, we had to eliminate it from the budget. ”
The fireworks cost $8,500, but when you look at added police presence, setting up and cleaning up, it brings the bill to $12,000 to $15,000.
“When it came down to it, the fireworks is one evening, yes we know it affects many, many people but at the end of the day we had to determine what served our residents the most,” Tackman said.
The mayor says the difficult budget year forced the village to scale back many services and raise taxes 22 percent this year. That's a couple hundred dollars more a year for the average taxpayer.
Riley said, “A couple of people have said, they are only fireworks. They're not only fireworks; it's my biggest memory for 23 years. I have a son due in June, my daughter is 2 and I want them to grow up with it too.”
Riley says she'll now look into fundraising. To see the petition, or sign it, click here.