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Birmingham Spends $12,588 on a Fireworks Show That Never Happened

The city was only reimbursed $4,500 from contractor Colonial Fireworks after both scheduled dates for the 2012 4th of July fireworks show were canceled due to stormy weather.

Birmingham residents didn't get their 4th of July fireworks show this year, but the city still spent more than $12,000 on the event.

According to a report from Birmingham Fire Chief Mike Metz, Birmingham spent a total of $12,588 on the 2012 fireworks show, even though both the scheduled event on July 3 and its July 5 rain date was .

Over a period of three days at the begining of July, strong storms swept the area, knocking out power for hundreds, including the clubhouse at , the site of the traditional fireworks show.

Assistant Fire Chief John Connaughton said at the time that while he doesn't think the city has ever had to completely cancel the event, conditions were too unpredictable.

"When you have these hot, hot conditions, these storms can just pop up," he said. "I don't want to have thousands of people (at the golf course) and risk a lightning strike."

However, Birmingham paid more than $12,000 for the fireworks show after being reimbursed only $4,500 from the company responsible for putting on the show, Colonial Fireworks.

According to Metz, Birmingham paid Colonial Fireworks a deposit of $7,500 in February. The contract between the two groups stated that if the event was canceld in its entirety due to a force of nature, the contractor's fee "shall be equivalent to services actually incurred."

That left the following costs for for the city to pay, all of which total $12,588:

  • Fireworks contractors' fee: $3,000
  • Insurance: $4,412
  • Labor costs: $5,132
  • Equipment/materials: $44

The labor costs, Metz said, reflect the hours spent on both days by staff from the , and .

Donations down in 2012, unused funds to pay for 2013 show

After the event was canceled, several Patch readers were left wondering: what happens to my donations? Every year, the city collects donations from residents and other groups to help pay for the fireworks show.

According to Metz, all unused donations received in 2012 wil be applied to the 2013 fireworks show.

In total, the city saw $10,600 in donations to the 2012 fireworks show, down $3,645 — or 34 percent — from the amount donated in 2011. The biggest contributors in 2012 were:

  • Residents: $3,300
  • : $2,500
  • Village of Beverly Hills: $1,800
  • Fuller Central Park Properties: $1,500
  • Bloomfield Township: $500
  • Hubbell, Roth & Clark: $500
  • Beier Howlett: $300
  • : $200
Barb Crowley August 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Let's make it a Labor Day show this year!!!

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