The annual downtown holiday parade may fall victim to a new special-event fee schedule the city is imposing.
The holiday parade committee was informed Sept. 23 that it will have to pay $31,720 for police, trash and street-sweeping services for this year’s event.
Organizer Paul Thorpe said the committee does not have nearly enough money to cover those costs, and, unless a major sponsor can be found before December, he may have to cancel the parade.
“Here it is three months out, and they’re telling us that’s what they want to charge us,” he said.
Last year, the city said it would be charging the holiday parade $25,000 for the same services, but it waived the fee at the last moment.
City Manager Bob Bartolotta is instituting a new set of special-event fees that help offset the cost of man hours it takes to process permits for those events.
The St. Armands Circle Association has been protesting the new cost structure, saying it may have to cancel many, or even all, of the 20 events it holds on the Circle each year.
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