The fireworks display will go ahead as scheduled at Friday's Carols by Candlelight event at Reddall Reserve.
This was despite Shellharbour councillor Kellie Marsh saying she had been inundated with community members who wanted to see the fireworks at council's Christmas carols event cancelled this year, and money donated to the Rural Fire Service.
Cr Marsh had proposed that the city pay more than $8000 to not hold its fireworks, instead of paying $4400 for them to go ahead.
With Shellharbour council already locked into a contract with the company providing the fireworks, Cr Marsh had suggested the council fulfill its agreement to pay $4400, but not hold the display.
Clrs Marsh and Peter Moran tabled a three-part motion at an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday night.
This included that council cancel the fireworks display planned for this year's carols event; donate $1000 to each of the Oak Flats, Calderwood, Albion Park and Dunmore Rural Fire Brigades; and offer the RFS the opportunity to undertake a bucket collection during the event.
Cr Marsh said she'd been "overwhelmed with the response from the public" after she posted a Facebook poll asking for residents' views.
She said the majority who voted indicated the fireworks shouldn't go ahead.
"Some people have said that it just doesn't seem right this year (to have the fireworks)," she said.
"I fully support the carols event and I hope that everyone has a lovely time, but I don't think our community are that shallow that we need to do it with fireworks."
Cr Marsh noted potential health and fire safety risks.
Cr Moran has unsuccessfully tried to have Shellharbour's fireworks displays cancelled a number of times in recent years, due to concerns about their effect on wildlife, domestic animals and human health.
With Mayor Marianne Saliba on leave, Deputy Mayor John Murray said the community event was organised and paid for, and as long as it's not unsafe to do so, should go ahead as planned.
"As far as we understand, RFS has no official position on fireworks, as long as they are conducted in a safe manner," he said.
"As councillors, it is our responsibility to manage the affairs of an almost $200 million business. It is not our job to be donating council funds to any of the plethora of worthy causes out there.
"I certainly do not wish to be part of running our business on a popular whim or what is currently trending on social media."
Clrs Marsh and Moran's motion was defeated 3-2, and Cr Robert Petreski successfully moved that the RFS be able to undertake a bucket collection during the carols.
"There'd be an estimated 10,000 people there," Cr Petreski said.
"If we pass the bucket around, they'll probably get a lot more than the $4000."
The carols event, which will be held from 5pm to 9pm, will include performances, special guests and Santa.