Lewiston council delays vote on special events cap

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LEWISTON — Councilors on Tuesday delayed a vote on a new special events policy, giving staff time to clean up some language and firm up some details.

Phil Nadeau, Lewiston’s deputy city administrator, said it’s a budget-saving measure, meant to help the city fund the events and festivals that are important.

“But as you know, our organization is not getting bigger but smaller, and the more events we do of this kind and the more time spent supporting them, we are not doing other things,” Nadeau said. “Some of those events don’t take just one day. The (Great Falls) Balloon Festival, for example, takes four days of work from Public Works.”

The new policy would set aside city support for 15 runs, walks or races; 16 festivals, concerts or community events; two requests for city assets alone; and one event outside the community.

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Those include all events that have received city support in 2014 and 2015.

New community events, concerts or races would have to pay for city fees, permits, equipment and staff themselves or fill a slot left when an approved event is canceled.

The new policy is also meant to streamline the special event approval process. Event planners now must fill out three forms to get city help, but changes would combine that into one form. It puts all special events management into the city administrator’s office and makes it more clear when city councilors must approve events and when city financial help is not possible. It also more clearly defines city fees and explains city policy regarding liability insurance.

City Administrator Ed Barrett said the matter would be ready for a council vote at the Jan. 6 meeting.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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