Aldermen to consider deadline extension for Taste of Park Ridge renewal
Updated: January 21, 2013 2:03PM
PARK RIDGE — The Park Ridge City Council will vote Monday whether to add a 30-day extension to a Jan. 1 deadline that requires aldermen to decide whether to renew a contract with Taste of Park Ridge, Inc. for 2013.
The Jan. 31 deadline, said City Manager Shawn Hamilton, would give city staff the time to create and approve a city-wide special events policy. There is currently no universal set of rules in place that apply to special events held in the city.
“The policies and procedures will dictate any type of event that impacts the city by utilizing its streets and services,” Hamilton said. “It could affect multiple events, not just the Taste.”
Hamilton will work with city staff to draft a set of special events regulations and procedures which will be initially presented to the City Council at the Jan. 28 Committee of the Whole meeting.
If approved by the City Council, the new special events regulations would apply to Taste of Park Ridge, Inc. in the case that the contract is renewed.
Last spring the City Council approved a new, one-year contract including a two-year option for renewal with Taste of Park Ridge, Inc. which has overseen the annual summer food festival for the past seven years. A similar contract was not required for another food festival that was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce later in the year.
Taste organizers upheld their end of this year’s contract, paying the $17,000 bill owed to the city for costs incurred for service hours billed by various city departments that supported the event.
The contract also contained a revenue-sharing plan that would have earned Park Ridge 50 percent of all remaining funds produced by the Taste that exceeded the contractor’s internal fund-balance of $100,000. However, a loss of $11,000 at this year’s event reduced that fund-balance to roughly $72,000, according to organizers.
Stormy mid-July weather that hit Park Ridge during the Taste weekend sent ticket sales down by 30 percent, said Mel Thillens, chairman of the Taste of Park Ridge.
“We’re interested in having people enjoy themselves rather than being focused on turning out a profit,” Thillens said.
Hamilton added that revenue had no impact on the proposal to extend the deadline for a contract renewal decision by 30 days.
“These events are never big money makers,” Hamilton said. “The money aspect has nothing to do with this at all.”
The next City Council meeting will be held Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 404 Butler Place, Park Ridge.