Fire Pits Rise from the Ashes

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The city's 186 fire pits will be saved for at least another year, thanks to a large allocation from different sources.

    San Diego city leaders aimed at shutting down public fire pits along the coast to trim about $120,000 a year from the budget. The bulk of the money comes from a local charity, the San Diego Foundation.

    The fire pits were slated to be removed this summer to save the city of San Diego the cost of maintenance. The city staffs two full-time positions to take care of the pits that are cleaned weekly in the summer and biweekly in the winter.

    Two council members, Kevin Faulconer and Sherri Lightner, contributed a total of $23,000 from their "office infrastructure funds," which are pid for with taxpayer money.

    San Diego residents also contributed almost $3,000 -- in the form of direct donations -- to keep the fire pits in place. The La Jolla Community Foundation gave $4,700 to the effort.

    The grassroots effort to raise money had an April 15 deadline which was later pushed back until May 7. On Friday, Mayor Jerry Sanders said the fire pit issue was about to be resolved and he would announce details about their future Monday.

    Mayor Jerry Sanders and the council members stressed that the donations will pay to keep the fire pits clean and maintained for only a year or so, at which time more money will be needed.

    It's getting to be an annual event in San Diego.