A large group of Lake Area Chamber of Commerce members gathered at the board meeting to ask for the rental fee for the city park to be waived. This is the third year for the event at the park, with the city waiving the fees for the last two years.
Last night the city board voted 4 to 2 to collect a portion of the fee. Board President Steve Kahrs and Alderman Kevin Rucker, a member of the lake area chamber, both voted to waive the fee, Kahrs saying the city has a partnership.
“I just believe that we have been partners with them for the last two years and I just think it benefits the community and why start now,” Kahrs said. “I understand there are other groups that have to pay fees that are whatever tax classification they are, but this is a partnership and I just felt it unnecessary.”
A second vote was held on the specific amount. The city voted three to three to charge just over $1,400 for the use of the park. Mayor Penny Lyons broke the tie.
“It’s 50% off the average fee that would be charged and we would charge a 501(c) 25% more,” Lyons said. “We said because we are trying to work with them that we would cut it 50%. When the city administrator called me I said I agree on the 50% discount.”
The mayor says in years past the city has not had events scheduled at the same time as the holiday light park setup and display. She says this year was different.
“It’s because we had tournaments scheduled and we are losing that amount of money so we charged them 50%.”