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Commission to again discuss return of San Ramon fireworks

San Ramon Parks & Community Services Commission to forward recommendation for city council decision

The future of fireworks in San Ramon will be up for discussion Wednesday night (Feb. 12) by the city's Parks & Community Services Commission, which has held two hearings on whether they should be brought back after a two-year hiatus.

The commission will forward its recommendation to San Ramon City Council, which will make the final decision on whether to bring back the Independence Day event.

Fireworks were halted in 2011 after a crowd -- made up largely of people from outside the city -- created vehicular gridlock, delayed emergency workers, and left litter and overflowing trash cans in Central Park.

The alternative presented to residents would use Old Ranch Park as a place to shoot off the fireworks, but not as a place to watch them. The park would be secured, allowing access only to the pyrotechnicians, police and firefighters.

The plan would cost an estimated $167,000 and would close streets in the area at about 8:30 p.m. on July 4 to prevent spectators from getting near the launch site. The show would begin at about 9:35 p.m. and end around 10 p.m.

Comments at the Feb. 1 on the new location, geared mainly for local residents, covered much of the same ground as the first, which was held on Jan. 15, according to Karen McNamara, the city's public services director and interim parks and community services director.

"We had new folks that weren't at the first meeting, so we did a revisit of the proposal and presentation," McNamara said. Questions and answers from the January hearing are available here.

She estimated 63 people attended and 23 people spoke at the 3.5-hour hearing. The commission also received a petition signed by about 100 people opposed to the new location.

If supported by the commission, the issue would go to city council for consideration at its Feb. 26 meeting.

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