SARATOGA SPRINGS: How late is too late?

Saratoga Springs police Lt. Jack King said that is exactly what happened with the April 27 display.

According to King, the display was for a private birthday party, which would have been denied under normal circumstances, but the applicant was not the individual hosting the party, it was the fireworks display company itself.

Alonzo Fireworks Display had received a permit for the April 27 display, which took place in the vacant lot at 35 Lake Ave., where a Hampton Inn is being built.

Jeff Alonzo, a representative of Alonzo Fireworks Display, said the organization had distributed fliers to people in the area ahead of time, and the owner of the property had given permission for the land to be used.

King said because of the private nature of the display, he required the applicant to pay for additional fire and police personnel to be on hand.

Commissioner of Accounts John Franck and Commissioner of Finance Matt McCabe asked if the city should require public notice for all fireworks displays.

"My concern is that this happened at an odd time of the year," said Franck, noting that residents expect fireworks around the Fourth of July or during track season.

King said a process of public notification may have some drawbacks.

"If you put it in the paper, you're going to draw a crowd," he said. "You draw a crowd, you're going to need more security.

He said instead of paying for one cop and three firemen as Alonzo did, an event might need double that coverage because of the exposure.

Officials said they will hammer out possible solutions for a better application and permit issuance process over the next few weeks.

Franck said public input is welcome.""

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