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Meandering w/ Mark Matthews: Bellmawr, do we want fireworks again?


Updated  July 7th at end of story
I remember decades ago, going up to the Bellmawr recreation center to watch the fireworks.  We'd bring a blanket, sit in the outfield of the ball field closest to the water tower... and have a great view of the fireworks that were fired along the back fence of the property.

I can't remember when Bellmawr stopped sponsoring them.  I have memories of being there as a young kid.. but can't quite remember if they were around for my own kids in the 90s.

So I ask this quesion... 100% my own thoughts...  

Would the Bellmawr's residents support spending money on Fireworks again? 

Or is there enough interest that people would band together to raise the money to pay for it, as they did this year in Woodbury NJ?

This thought first popped into my head when I heard fireworks over the weekend... sounded very close.  Much closer than the Riversharks field, or a Phillies game.  Some quick googling and I found out they were in Westville.   A town that is less than 1/2 the population of Bellmawr.

Then I see a post over at 6ABC  which lists area towns with fireworks, including: Barrington, Audubon, Gloucester City... and Woodbury.

Woodbury is an interesting case, in that they cancelled the fireworks two years ago after the group sponsoring them disbanded, and for 2013 a group of residents formed a committee to raise money to pay for the fireworks.  They are back this year.

More surprising to me, was that the cost of the fireworks is listed at $8,000, and $20,000 was set as the target to pay for police overtime and other services.  It's not a small amount, but some would think its not a huge amount either.

So I give no opinion either way.  This is more of a question to the residents of Bellmawr.

  • Should Bellmawr have 4th of July Fireworks again?
  • Should the town budget pay for it?

I expect some interesting comments, from the "Taxes are already too high", to the "it would be great for the community".

I wouldnt mind seeing comments from residents of other towns, if they feel they are wasting tax dollars on fireworks (or feel they are missing out, in communities that also do not have)

Update 7/7/2013

1) Over in the Bellmawrians II group of Facebook, this post got a lot of comment and reminiscing.  Go check them out and sign up for the group.  I dont see a way to link to a specific post, just the group.. but there's a lot to look at as you scroll through

2) At the NJ.Com Bellmawr Forum, user  here4uu offers a plausible reason for no fireworks that has less to do with money, and more to do with safety and regulations.  I don't usually like to reference anonymous posters but this seems reasonable.

The comments below are not mine...  This is a user on replying to another person's comment at the forum. 

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 5.04.56 PM

if my memory serves me, the last time the borough hosted fireworks, some people were hurt due to an errant firework misfire. Traffic was horrible around the rec center and the emergency services could not respond properly. At the council meeting there after, it was determined that due to state guidelines, bellmawr no longer met the parameters for a safe operation due to the proximity of homes ,busunesses and positive traffic flow. So it was ended. I dont believe anything happned at the 11th hour. I believe the situation as a whole was handled properly keeping the best interest of the people of bellmawr, not only as a taxpayer but as a spectator. Chew on that one!





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