AUBURN | Seven days ago, the county's annual July 3 fireworks show at Emerson Park appeared to be in jeopardy.

During the Ways & Means Committee's monthly meeting last week, Gary Duckett, park maintenance supervisor, told legislators that the Auburn City Council — citing financial troubles — announced it no longer planned to contribute the $6,250 it usually put towards the annual patriotic display.

Tom Squires, county administrator, said Doug Selby, city manager, reached out to him to discuss the council's decision.

"They were struggling to justify this expenditure in their budget," Squires explained.

Despite discontinuing donating money to the event, Squires said the city will continue to support the fireworks show by staffing the event with police and department of public works personnel.

To make up for the unexpected loss of funds, Duckett said the county — which contributes $16,000 to the event — would have to seek help from private donors. And on Tuesday evening, legislators learned of Duckett's successful search.

Chairman Michael Chapman stood during the Cayuga County Legislature's monthly meeting and announced that Joseph F. Karpinski Sr., through his Dr. Joseph F. Karpinski Sr. Foundation, agreed to donate $6,250 to the fireworks event, making up for the portion usually covered by the city. Chapman, on behalf of the Legislature, thanked the philanthropist for his generosity.

Duckett spoke next, voicing his support for the actions of both the county and Karpinski.

"All of you know all of the things he's done for the community," Duckett said. "He was very happy to step up and do this."

In other news:

• Following a slew of meetings and endless talks, the Cayuga Economic Development Agency is finally the county's official one-stop shop for economic development. The legislators voted unanimously to tap CEDA to serve as the county's lead agency for working with both prospective and existing businesses.

Staff writer Samantha House can be reached at 282-2282 or samantha.house@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at Citizen_House.

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