Looks like the few remaining fire pits on the beaches of Ocean Beach … and the remaining on other areas … will be “saved” once more. Mayor Jerry Sanders said on Tuesday, March 13, that “San Diego’s 186 fire pits will be fully funded for the first time in three-and-a-half years.”
The San Diego U-T reports:
Due to a projected $16.5 million budget surplus, the city again will pay for them on its own. It costs $120,500 annually to maintain the concrete structures, but the city struggled with budget deficits as high as $120 million in 2010, which kept the pits on the chopping block.
An increase in tax revenues and cost cutting measures helped create the surplus in the city’s $1.1 billion operating budget. The bulk of the surplus will go to patching the backlog of infrastructure repairs, but some of the money is going to bolster services, such as park and library hours and maintaining the pits. …
City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who represents coastal areas from (Ocean Beach,) Point Loma to Pacific Beach, was one of the council members who contributed money from his office’s operating budget to maintain the fire pits. “Gathering around a beach fire pit with friends and family is part of the San Diego experience,” he said.
Every year around this time for the last 4 years, the City has threatened to remove all the fire pits from OB and everywhere else within San Diego for lack of funding.
And every year, the OB Rag has documented the potential loss in culture and then – as always – funding is found – either from anonymous donors, community groups, or council members themselves. In fact, one year, the OB Rag led efforts to refund the fire rings by proposing an “Adopt-A-Fire-Pit” campaign. (See here, here, and here.)