San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders recently announced that the City has launched a new website at which people can make donations to support the fire-pit program. Despite a $259,500 donation, fire-pit funding has only been secured until June 30, 2010 — in less than a year, there may be no more fire pits.
According to sandiego.gov, “Each [fire pit] measures 5 feet by 5 feet and weighs nearly a ton, and cleaning them is full-time work for two City employees. They require a front loader and a dump truck to haul off the debris and ash — and to avoid contact with the hot, hazardous, and sometimes toxic materials thrown into the fires. The annual cost of maintenance, including salaries and equipment, is $173,000.”
Since February, the program has raised $180, which means $172,820 is still needed reach the goal. The money needs to be raised by December 15, 2009, to ensure the fire-pit program is included in the mayor’s proposed budget starting July 1, 2010.
There are 186 fire pits in San Diego: all along Mission Beach, Mission Bay, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Ocean Beach. Donations to the fire-pit program can be made by visiting sandiego.gov/philanthropycenter and clicking on the “Donate Now” button.