Town of Palm Beach News

Objections Raised About Firework Show Donation

One member of Palm Beach’s Architectural Commission has raised objections to a request made by West Palm Beach for a $12,000 donation toward the cost of this year’s July 4 fireworks display, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News. 

Town Manager Kirk Blouin, meanwhile, is recommending the Palm Beach Town Council approve the co-sponsorship request. The town has donated to the 4th on Flagler event in the past, including last year. The request was on the agenda at yesterday’s meeting.

“Since many Palm Beach residents enjoy the Fourth on Flagler fireworks, we believe town sponsorship is fair, provides and public benefit, and is good intergovernmental relations,” Blouin said in a memo to Mayor Gail Coniglio and council members.

But, in an email to Congilio and council members, John David Corey raised questions on the wisdom of spending $12,000 on the display. Corey suggested that the display conflicts with the town’s “green initiative,” or it’s push to become more environmentally friendly. He asked the council to discuss the funding request instead of approving it without discussion. 

Objections Raised About Firework Show Donation

“With our green initiative, we may also want to think about the toxic nature of fireworks that cause air, water and noise pollution,” Corey said.

West Palm Beach’s communications director, Kathleen Walker, responded to Corey’s environmental concerns with a written statement from Pyrotecnio, the special effects and firework display company that handles the event in question.

“Pyrotecnico has produced safe displays for the past decade in West Palm Beach without incident,” Chris Liberatore, the firm’s vice president of sales, said in the statement. “Pyrotechnicians who are exposed to materials/chemicals in raw powder form, as well as during the course of employment putting on shows, have never experienced adverse health conditions.”

Corey is a member of the Architectural Commission and the founder of Palm Beach Walks, a pedestrian advocacy group. He said Friday that the money that would go to the display could be used in other ways in the town of Palm Beach, such as to repaint crosswalks he has long been campaigning for. When Corey requested the repainting of the crosswalks to make them safer, he was told that the funds weren’t available.

“I could think of 10 crosswalks that could be repainted for $12,000,” he said.

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Alanna Barrett

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