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Unpaid 2012 Bills Include $15,000 for Braintree 4th of July

Other items that received extra appropriations included census printing costs.

The Town Council approved an extra $15,000 for remaining 4th of July celebration costs Tuesday night, covering the escalating price of the annual parade and a fundraising effort that fell short.

Over the last few years, parade costs have increased as organizers have invited more bands from around the country. Last June, drum and bugle corps, paid by the 4th of July Celebration Committee for their participation, arrived in Braintree from as far away as New Jersey and Quebec, Canada.

The cost of last year's festivities approached $80,000, a significant increase from several years ago, said Councilor Henry Joyce, who argued that expenses are getting out of hand.

"I love a parade and everybody loves a parade," Joyce said. "I just wonder if we have to look at it this year and scale back."

Councilors appropriated $35,000 for the parade and the ensuing celebration at Braintree High School last year. Private donations made up much of the difference, but "fell a little short," Councilor Sean Powers, chair of the celebration committee, wrote in a letter to the council.

Powers said Tuesday night that the committee is "blessed" to have the support of so many individuals and businesses in Braintree but that a restructuring of the parade may need to take place.

"We want to sustain the parade," Powers said. "It's come to the point where we have to refocus the efforts of the parade committee."

Chief of Staff and Operations Peter Morin also agreed that Joyce had a "fair point" and said that there may be limitations next year on town financing, including the possibility of no supplemental budgeting.

The celebration committee plans to unveil its 2013 fundraising effort next month.

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