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Mayor to talk about future of beach fire pits today

The deadline for raising money to keep the fire pits on the city’s beaches ended with an advisory from Mayor Jerry Sanders office that he plans to make a “major announcement” on Monday afternoon about their future.

No information on the announcement was available Friday evening, but the city was nowhere near coming up with the $120,000 needed to save the pits going into Friday. The La Jolla Community Foundation had offered to sponsor the seven fire pits at La Jolla Shores — at an annual cost of $650 per ring totaling $4,550. But that action is contingent on other communities in the city following suit with their fire pits.

Rachel Laing, the mayor’s press spokeswoman, said last week that city staff was ready to make plans plan for removing the 185 fire pits from beaches at La Jolla, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach next week if no one stepped forward to fill the funding gap.

“The mayor submits his May revise to the 2011 budget to the City Council on May 7,” she had said. “If, by then he can include the private funding for the fire pit-maintenance positions, the fire pits will remain,”