Solvang votes to recover event costs

 

The City of Solvang will begin recovering manpower costs incurred by the city for a number of events, but will also exempt a number of other events from cost recovery measures as those events provide a major boost to the city and its businesses.

The item was discussed at the July 14 city council meeting with directions to staff at that time to bring the item back to the council at the July 28 meeting with recommendations on which of the city’s events could be considered “community-wide” and worthy of exemption from the cost recovery process.

 

In a report by Public Works Director Tully Clifford, the type of costs that are not on the table were those relating to the special event application fees, vendor fees, or fees associated with functions undertaken by the sheriff’s department. Clifford added that the fees under consideration are those that are associated with city staff undertaking activities to facilitate special events. The main activity is the placement and removal of traffic control devices such as barricades.  Clifford noted that a large portion of fees charged could be mitigated if organizations that sponsored the events were to provide sufficient volunteers to man the barricades and provide crowd and traffic control.

The list of exempted events are to be:  The Tour of California Bicycle Race, Danish Days, Earth Day, Memorial Day Event, Rotary Club Independence Day Parade, and the Winterfest event.

 

Other events, including other bicycle events, the Datsun Roadster Show, the Farmers’ Market, Fiero West Car Show, Ranchos Visitadores parade, Solvang Jazz Festival, Taste of Solvang, Theaterfest, West Coast Greyhounds, Wheel’s ’n Windmills Car Show, and the Wine Country Half Marathon will be charged fees for city services.

In other discussion, the council discussed proposed rehabilitation to First Street between Mission Drive and Copenhagen Drive. Council members listened to a presentation by the public works director describing the basic plan of repaving and eliminating the curbing at the street area next to Solvang Park.

 

A conceptual drawing was provided to the council that described one possible alternative to the area that would make it a pedestrian-only area. Council members had reservations about going forward with the preliminary enablement of that plan, preferring instead the less expensive and already planned option of a paving overlay and rehabilitation of the sidewalks that have been in need of repair.

The council voted 4-1 (Jackson dissenting) to go forward with the basic fix to the First Street area.