Sarasota News Leader

05/10/2013

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AN EVENT REBUFFED The 2012 Chalk Festival had a circus theme. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens CHALK FESTIVAL GETS ONLY HALF THE AMOUNT OF WAIVED CITY FEES IT SOUGHT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor In a night of hot-button issues, the Sarasota city for services such as parking, trash pickup, utilities commissioners on May 6 asked if public money and police. The departments' funds are made whole should support downtown festivals. by special allocations in their regular budgets. City departments, in other words, pad their annual While the agenda item pertained to the more than budgets to cover festival 100 festivals held in the costs. In effect, these are city each year, the eleindirect subsidies. phant in the room was the Chalk Festival. The city has no grant program to help fund special events, but it does waive certain fees normally paid to city departments The question for today is, do we want to provide a subsidy to the Chalk Festival. I think it is warranted. Terry Turner Commissioner City of Sarasota Several people testified during the City Commission meeting, and a couple suggested the Chalk Festival relocate to a city park instead of blocking

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