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City of Trinidad and Blues Fest get together to hammer out new proposal

by Bill Knowles

TRINIDAD — Following an Oct. 15 city council meeting, where the council voted 6-1 to reject a series of demands from Trinidaddio that had the potential to commit the council to spending $86,000 a year “in perpetuity,” the city and Trinidaddio organizers met on Oct. 22 to begin hammering out details of a document that recognizes the needs of both the city and the Blues Fest.

This according to an email to the World Journal from city manager Greg Sund.

A separate email from the city manager stated that for 2018 “…they want $60,000 from the City’s General Fund.” The city has already given them around $50,000 and the Blues Fest is looking for another $10,000 by Nov. 1.

“The City Council is not able to commit to funding anything except debt service for multiple years in the future,” Sund said in the email. The city can only fund one year at a time and each year must stand on its own merits. Otherwise it is a TABoR violation, according to Sund.

“The $86,000 is comprised of $50,000 from the city’s general fund and $36,000 from the lodging tax,” Sund wrote. Both are city funds from which expenditures must be authorized by the city council.

The other issue the city needs resolved is the need for transparency in terms of finances. “The city wants to see profit and loss statements,” Sund wrote.

“To receive the amount requested requires a high level of due diligence on the part of the city,” Sund said in the email. The city would want to know, for instance, how many tickets are sold and how many are given away.

Other services sought from the city by Trinidaddio were a $3,000 power panel and any other power enhancements they desire in the future regardless of city funds or staff time involved, according to the original proposal submitted by the Trinidaddio Board to the city. Also sought was guaranteed provision of city water with no consideration of water restrictions due to drought.

The Blues Fest also sought to take possession of Central Park one week prior to the scheduled event. They also want the park mowed, all electric panels energized, and buried electric and water lines marked.

These demands brought about the 6-1 vote rejecting the proposal.

However, on Monday Oct. 22, the city and the Blues Fest met and began looking for a new agreement that would be amicable for both. The new agreement, if one is reached, will be voted on during a special meeting to be held on Oct. 29.

“This is a last-minute effort to keep the blues fest going,” said city councilmember Rusty Goodall.