July 4th fireworks

File photo 

The city of North Myrtle Beach on Tuesday announced it was cancelling the 4th of July fireworks show at the Cherry Grove pier. 

It's the city's only fireworks show, but because the $25,000 price tag came early in the pandemic, the city didn't want to shell out money and instead opted to cancel it. 

The bill came due during the first week of April, said city spokesman Pat Dowling.

"We pretty much understood what was coming our way at that point," he added. 

The fireworks are not the city's only budget cut.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already caused the city to furlough about 200 people, most of them part-time workers, but some of them will come back throughout the summer as they're needed.

However, 41 full-time positions have been cut from next year's budget, including about 10 who were laid off this year due to the virus.

In February, the city had projected a $119 million budget. But that budget has been reduced to $89 million due to an expected loss in tax revenue over the summer as fewer tourists hit the road. 

The full-time employee cuts saved the city $2.5 million, including salaries and benefits.

"If we're furloughing people, we're furloughing the fireworks show," said Dowling, who added that the event would be back next year.

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