• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Toms River’s Downtown Business Improvement District on the Brink of Legal Action Over Fireworks Show Budget Dispute

BySamantha Johnson

Mar 6, 2024
Mayor of Toms River reportedly threatens to reduce business district funding unless 10 more fireworks displays are included this summer

In Toms River, there is a heated debate over the proposed fireworks shows. Mayor Dan Rodrick has allegedly threatened to cut the budget of the downtown business improvement district if 10 fireworks shows are not included in their annual budget. This threat has caused tensions within the community to rise.

BID chairman Bob Shea expressed his concerns about the potential impact of cutting $70,000 from the budget. He explained that this could lead to job losses and the cancellation of many planned events. The BID operates on a yearly budget of $286,000 and organizes various downtown events.

Council member Dave Ciccozzi believes that having frequent fireworks shows may not be beneficial and that one or two shows in the summer would be enough. There is disagreement between the mayor’s request for 10 fireworks shows and the BID board’s estimate of the actual cost, which is higher than initially proposed.

Local business owners support the BID and credit them with contributing to downtown success. They have noticed positive changes in the area, such as reduced vacancies, lower crime rates, and cleaner streets. The BID plays a crucial role in fostering a vibrant community atmosphere and supporting local businesses.

The BID board recently voted to maintain their original budget, excluding expenses related to fireworks shows. They have urged the mayor and council to address this issue promptly, as failure to do so may result in legal action. While the mayor’s office declined to comment on the BID’s actions, tensions between different parties in Toms River continue to escalate.

By Samantha Johnson

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