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Red, White & Boom lives on

Two sponsors step forward

April 22, 2014
Pine Island Eagle

Red, White & Boom will live on through the guidance of the Cape Coral Parks & Recreation Department.

Parks Director Steve Pohlman convinced the City Council at Monday night's meeting that sufficient funds can be raised in a number of ways so that the city's largest one-day event will not cost taxpayers additional money.

Traditionally, the city has budgeted and contributed $50,000 toward the annual 4th of July Celebration during the years that the Chamber of Commerce organized the event. Of that amount, $30,000 went to pay police, fire and EMS services required at the event and the other $20,000 purchased the fireworks.

Pohlman said about another $60,000 in revenue would be necessary to fund the entertainment, marketing, equipment rental and insurance. That revenue can be generated through vendor sales and business sponsorships, he said.

More than half of the additional expenses was accounted for during the meeting when Brian Rist, owner of Smart Companies, pledged $25,000 at the podium to be the title sponsor. During a short recess, American Broker Realty Group stepped up with another $10,000 sponsorship.

"My family and I have attended Red, White & Boom in the past and I believe it is a great celebration," said Rist. "It would be so sad for that event not to go on. I offered to help before and it didn't go anywhere, so I decided now was the time to keep it going."

Pohlman told council he also had an agreement in place with the Chamber of Commerce, which will continue to help provide a network of volunteers as it has done in the past.

Council voted 7-1 to approve the Parks & Recreation Department's proposal to begin organizing this year's event, which is less than 11 weeks from now. A collective gasp was heard in council chambers when Councilmember Lenny Nesta cast the lone "no" vote.

Council also hashed out a revision to the city's new sign ordinance, which took affect at the beginning of the month. With the new ordinance, one A-frame sign will be allowed per business with some restrictions for placement and display hours.

Glazed window and door areas of a business is now allowed 50 percent coverage instead of 30 percent. Curbside sign wavers no longer are permitted in the city.

After an extensive discussion of feather banners, council decided to ban the banners across the board except for model homes.

The resolution passed by a 6-2 vote with council members Jim Burch and Rena Erbrick casting the dissenting votes. Staff will now incorporate the changes into the language of the ordinance and bring it back to council for final approval.

While the ordinance already is in effect, staff is not enforcing the measure until the final approval of the changes.

The next regular meeting of city council is on April 28.



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