When does a good thing become too much of a good thing? What does a city do when the costs of a special event outrun a city’s revenue to pay for it?

Seaside leaders face that dilemma. Aaron Fiedler reports in the July 25 edition of the Seaside Signal that Seaside’s fireworks show is the hot topic of discussions within the City Council and Seaside Downtown Development Association.

Leaders such as Police Chief Bob Gross are noting the considerable law enforcement burden that comes with the fireworks show.

When a town of 6,500 becomes a town of 40,000 for one day and night, it becomes a magnet for troublemakers. Seaside police responded to an exceptionally heavy load of police calls on July 4. And Chief Gross noted the number of arrests of young men of Eastern European nationality.

Cities for decades have weighed costs against benefits when considering new projects. In more recent decade,  environmental and social costs have been recognized by large cities, but less so by small towns. Here in Clatsop County, the Warrenton business park has been a classic case of a project generating employment and property taxes, but also an array of other costs the taxpayers must meet.

There is no doubt that Seaside will continue to have a July 4 fireworks show. But it is healthy that Seaside civic and business leaders are recognizing the costs. The ultimate cost that Seaside does not want to pay is what happens when crime surrounding the event becomes repellent to visitors.

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