OCEANSIDE — Oceanside may once again see fireworks next July. City council gave city staff the go ahead to look into the cost of July 4 fireworks at El Corazon in a 3-2 vote Sept. 14 in which Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted no.
Councilman Jack Feller initiated the discussion of hosting a fireworks show in Oceanside after the city had taken a three-year hiatus.
The plan is for private donations to cover most of the costs.
“Behind the senior center would be a great place to have the fireworks,” Feller said. “If they’re shot up 200 to 300 feet you can see the fireworks from every part of Oceanside. I know there are some major sponsors.”
The site of El Corazon was suggested for its central location and high elevation. The proposed plan is to close off access to El Corazon and encourage residents to view fireworks from their homes or inland transit parking areas.
“I have mixed feelings,” Councilman Gary Felien said. “One item is the loss of fireworks. I do miss them myself. Another thing to consider is the financial situation the city is in. Private public partnership for the fireworks is needed.”
Some asked if the fireworks could be launched off at the beach, which is a long-standing July 4 tradition. Others opposed a beach fireworks show because it may attract unruly out of town crowds and environmental groups’ opposition and possible lawsuits for shooting fireworks over a waterway.
“Just try to get a barge out there through Marco Gonzalez or one of those groups,” Feller said.
Wood and Sanchez voted against a city hosted fireworks show because it will incur city costs.
Even with private donations for the fireworks extra safety personnel will be needed. “We’re not in a position to absorb any costs at all,” Sanchez said.
If the decided on location is El Corazon, police and firefighters will be split between July 4 crowds at the beach and the inland fireworks show.
City staff will come back with its recommendations within 60 days.