Taste of Park Ridge returns without controversy
Updated: March 15, 2013 11:35AM
One year ago, new requirements, objections and delays on the part of the Park Ridge City Council put the annual Taste of Park Ridge food and entertainment festival in question.
This year city leaders, without objection or discussion on Feb. 4, unanimously approved a contract extension with Taste of Park Ridge, Inc., covering the summer 2013 event.
Mel Thillens, chairman of the Taste of Park Ridge Committee, said a date has not yet been chosen for this year’s event and is still under consideration by the organization’s board. Typically the Taste of Park Ridge has been held during the second weekend in July.
The 13-page contract’s terms are the same as last year’s, according to City Manager Shawn Hamilton. Most notably is the requirement that Taste of Park Ridge, Inc. reimburse the city for any direct and indirect expenses related to the taste, largely pay for police, fire and public works personnel and use of city water.
The contract also includes a revenue-sharing agreement with the city. Once the Taste of Park Ridge, Inc. establishes a fund balance of $100,000, all remaining revenues will be split 50-50 with the city, according to the agreement.
Hamilton said the city was reimbursed $17,463 for its expenses related to the 2012 Taste, but did not earn any additional revenue because the event suffered a financial loss that year.
Last year was the first time a contract was drawn up between the Taste of Park Ridge organizers and the city. The City Council also sought bids from other event organizers before approving an agreement with Taste of Park Ridge, Inc., which has hosted the festival for several years. In contrast, the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce was not required to have a contract approved by the City Council for a similar event centered around pizza establishments.
Thillens declined to comment on the council’s quiet approval of the contract extension and the stark contrast to last year’s procedure. He did say he is looking forward to seeing the city’s creation of a final special events policy that sets specific requirements for all public events in the city.
“It will just be good to have a policy in place where everything makes sense and that reflects the will of the council and the people of Park Ridge,” Thillens said.