City News Service
The city of San Diego will be able to fund maintenance of its beach fire rings without private donations for the first time in more than three years, according to the mayor's office.
Maintenance of the concrete rings has been caught up in the past few years of budget cutting, but spending reductions are expected to be comparatively minimal for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Mayor Jerry Sanders recently announced that the city will finish the current fiscal year with a surplus.
Upkeep of the rings costs about $120,000 annually. A little more than half that sum was donated for the current fiscal year by the San Diego Foundation, San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau and La Jolla Community Foundation.
Without funding for maintenance, the rings would have been removed.
Civic and tourism officials say the ability to have cookouts and bonfires by the water is one of San Diego's best attractions -- a lure for visitors and contributor to the quality of life of residents.
Sanders will thank the donors when he makes his official announcement late today at Sunset Point Park.