Hoping to ease the financial blow that fireworks would mean for the city, a group of volunteers fanned out yesterday to collect as much cash as they could so the show could go on.
City Councilor Ken Cockayne said that within 24 hours, they had more than $3,000 worth of pledges -- half the money needed to pay overtime for police officers to provide security.
Cockayne said he thought this morning that it was all going to work out.
Then the plug got pulled.
The city's 225th anniversary committee met and decided to cancel the fireworks, Cockayne said.
Mayor Art Ward said it wasn't about the money. It was about the manpower.
He said the city couldn't get enough police officers to make sure the public would be safe during a fireworks show taking place so close to homes and businesses.
Ward said Police Chief John DiVenere is writing an extensive memorandum today explaining exactly why it's not possible.
It's not clear whether the chief or the city has asked the police union what, if anything, it can do to help clear the way for the fireworks to go on. Nor is it clear why the city can't use private duty officers from other towns to cover the fireworks or the car show earlier on June 12 or ask St. Anthony's to rely on officers from other towns to patrol its carnival the same day.
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