AUBURN — Councilors don't want to take proposed limits and application requirements on city festivals too far, they said Monday.
"We'd like to take advantage of any opportunity that comes forward," Councilor Tizz Crowley said. "As long there is some flexibility built in."
Beginning in 2014, organizers of Twin Cities festivals, races and marquee events asking for city money would need to get their information to the City Council in March, under the proposed policy. It sets a $2,500 funding limit for new events and a $5,000 in-kind donation request.
It also creates a formal application, similar to one used in Lewiston, that organizers of events expecting more than 5,000 spectators would need to file at least 45 days before the event.
Organizers of events expected to draw bigger crowds would need to file the permit application 90 days before the scheduled date.
City Manager Clinton Deschene will draft another version, giving councilors more flexibility to review new events that might be proposed after the March deadline has passed. Councilors also had questions about setting aside city money to help pay for events.
The city has not taken formal applications from event organizers in the past but requested they write a letter explaining their plan.
Four events — the July 4 Liberty Festival, the Great Falls Balloon Festival, the Dempsey Challenge and the Holiday Parade of Lights — would be exempt from the funding limit.
Councilors would only review events every three years if nothing at the event or the organization had changed.
That was a concern for Councilor Belinda Gerry.
"I have a little bit of heartburn about that," Gerry said. "I'm afraid we're going to lose some of our hands-on ability, but I guess I'm willing to give it a try."