Boston mayor slams Tall Ships planning

April 2, 2009 at 11:53 AM

BOSTON, April 2 (UPI) -- Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino says the planning surrounding the upcoming Tall Ships festival has left his city facing a "public safety crisis."

Menino said with Sail Boston moving forward with the summer festival despite not paying an estimated $2 million in public safety costs, the nearly 1 million people expected to attend Tall Ships could create significant problems, The Boston Globe said Thursday.

"Then it's a public safety crisis because we're not going to be there," Menino said of the July 8-13 event. "When you plan an event of this magnitude, I would think you'd have the finances in hand before you make a commitment and we were never brought into the financial piece for the last nine months."

Tall Ships features the arrival of 50 vessels from 20 countries and begins with the Grand Parade of Sail grand event. Boston officials said Wednesday they may ask the U.S. Coast Guard to stop the event.

Officials with Sail Boston told the Globe they are attempting to complete a finance plan for the festival, adding ship operators are under contract to take part in the scheduled events.

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