In front of a fire pit near the waters of Mission Bay, Mayor Jerry Sanders announced at a press conference today (5/10/10) that the City’s 185 beach fire rings have been saved … at least for now. Due to a hefty donation of $90,000 from the San Diego Foundation, and smaller amounts from other sources, the fire rings’ are safe from removal until June 2011.
Mayor Sanders had placed the rings on the budgetary chopping block and they were scheduled to be removed after the current funding ran out on July 1, this year. But apparently over the last several days, Councilmembers Kevin Faulconer – whose District 2 beaches harbor the vast majority of the fire rings (102 out of 185) – and Sherri Lightner had finagled a solution to the funding.
Besides the large donation, other sources when combined matched the total of $120,500 – the annual amount the City spends in maintaining the rings:
- San Diego Foundation — $90,000
- La Jolla Community Foundation — $ 4700
- Fire Pit Fund — $ 2896
- Kevin Faulconer’s infrastructure fund — $16,452
- Sherri Lightner’s infrastructure fund — $ 6452
The San Diego Foundation is a non-profit civic group and has a special fund for Mission Bay Park. The Foundation has in the past replaced 1200 dead trees in the Park that died due to disease, weather, or natural causes.
Kevin Faulconer’s office had asked me to attend because of my involvement in the OB “Adopt-a-Fire-Ring” Project that this blog has organized over the last several months. Our constant rants on saving the rings won us a place at the press conference. Phyllis Peiffer of the La Jolla Foundation, Jim Grant, Katheryn Rhoades, Shane Finneran were there in support as community members. However, Hans Baumgartner – who spearheaded the website that championed saving the fire rings – could not make it. That guy deserves some recognition.