Who will save the fire pits? Residents of Ocean Beach discussed some options at the town council meeting Wednesday night.
OB’s eight fire pits are slated for removal due to the city of San Diego’s budget crisis. San Diego city leaders aimed at shutting down public fire pits along the coast to trim about $120,000 a year from the budget.
Frank Gormlie, editor of the OB Rag, wants OB community leaders to pass a resolution to save the fire rings.
It would be dangerous to remove the rings because beachgoers would simply start fires right on the sand leaving hot coals behind, Gormlie said.
Not only that, but OB residents aren’t the only people who use the fire rings.
“Fire pits are an icon of Ocean Beach and of San Diego,” said Gormlie. “It would be a disaster for public relations and for the tourist trade if they were removed.”
Dan Allemeier with the OB Town Council agreed. “Sitting around a fire pit on the beach is something that is “very San Diegan in nature,” he said.
“We’re at the city’s mercy of having them removed,” Allemeier said.
In past years, community leaders have been able to find a way to privately fund the fire pits. They hope that can happen again this year.
“Until that money is found, we don’t know where to go,” said Allemeier.
In order for the deal to be sealed, other contributions need to come in to support fire pits on other local beaches, according to Pfeiffer.
Close to 200 fire pits could 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.