Thursday, July 5, 2012
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ALBANY, Ga. -- If Wednesday's Fireworks show ends up being the last funded by the city of Albany, memories of the otherwise peaceful regional tradition will likely be marred by the actions of a group of violent juveniles.
Long before a series of fights forced Albany police officials to cut Wednesday's fireworks show off early, Albany's leaders had decided not to fund the event in 2013.
As City Manager James Taylor looked for places to trim the city's budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which started Sunday, the fireworks shows on the Fourth of July, Christmas and New Year's Eve were an area that was deemed early on to be superfluous.
On Thursday, Taylor said that while the fireworks shows had been cut from the city's budget, there were other events sponsored in part by the city for which the issue of safety must be addressed.
"We're working through this issue of unsupervised juveniles," Taylor said. "So we're looking at a variety of things. We're look at gating. We're looking at lowering the curfew. We're looking at putting more lighting throughout the parks downtown. We're looking at a whole host of things to do to improve the situation," Taylor said.
Even if the city doesn't fund a fireworks show next July, it doesn't mean local residents won't have an opportunity to see the "bombs bursting in air."
Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany hosts its Independence Day fireworks show each year, as does Sherwood Baptist Church at its Legacy Park. And there is some talk about the city seeking out sponsors to help shoulder some or all of the financial burden of the show.