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Trustees Learn of Second Street Fair Plans

Event organizer Darryl Walker says costs remain a concern.

 

Feedback from the first street fair in South Orange was so positive last fall, organizers have announced plans for a second fair in 2013, officials said Monday.

Fair organizer Darrel Walker told the South Orange Board of Trustees Sept. 29, 2013 has been scheduled for next year’s event after 7,000 people attended the first fair on Sept. 30, 2012.

Walker described the fair as "free advertising" and a "free family fun day" for the community. He said he surveyed five local merchants seeking feedback.

When South Orange Village Trustee Michael Goldberg asked why Walker chose only five, Walker asked a business owner in the audience for reaction to the fair.

Walker said he could "guarantee 99-percent" positive feedback to the fair. Goldberg pointed out he was aware of problems, including the quality of the vendors.

One challenge in 2012 was the cost with South Orange residents paying for police and public works staff for the fair. The cost was predicted to be between $2,000 and $3,000 when it was discussed in August.

At that time, Goldberg asked why a 2008 law that requires private vendors to pay for such costs was being overlooked.  The Special Events Ordinance of 2008 says,  "Each Applicant shall agree in writing to reimburse the Village for any reasonable and foreseeable expenses incurred by the Village resulting from the Event, including but not limited to police service and clean-up costs."

"I want to be assured publicly that the merchant or vendor providing this has provided in writing and is prepared to accept the costs," said Goldberg.

However, Trustee Howard Levison explained the interim village administrator signed the permit in December. At that time, the vendor was assured there would be no costs.

"We have to honor that," said trustee Mark Rosner.

On Monday night, Goldberg spoke to Walker seeking clarification of the ordinance. However, Walker said, "I'm not saying I'm going to be able to pay the whole thing." He said he would make only "a couple hundred dollars" profit if he had to pay the village fees.

Walker thanked the village and Trustee Howard Levison, in particular, for making the fair happen.

Clive December 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM
The overhaul and year round reciprocal benefits to South Orange of such an event - pays back in multiples, so waivers for the expenses are rational if viewed as an investment. On the other hand the quality of such and event and relevance going forward should bear constant scruitiny. Living up to these expectations would justify nurturing this event in it's fledging and incubating years.
Daria Knarvik December 19, 2012 at 01:38 PM
If we waive the fees for village expenses for this vendor don't we set a precedent? Frankly these are the cost of doing business. If the fair organizer can't cover them then he shouldn't run the event. I don't want my taxes to pay for his profit.

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