Friday, August 10, 2012

City of Orofino accepts airport bid, changes Lumberjack Days vendors’ setup

By Alannah Allbrett

A special meeting was held of the Orofino City Council July 31 for the purpose of accepting a bidder for airport pavement rehabilitation, and an access road and apron construction at the airport.

Three separate motions were passed: firstly, to award the airport project to Debco Construction, contingent upon FAA funding and concurrence in award; secondly, to allow the mayor to sign the contract with Debco, and lastly, to allow the mayor and city administrator to accept the FAA grant upon receipt and authorize them to sign the offer once received.

A special (and separate) meeting of the Street Committee was held, with members of Orofino Celebrations, Inc. (OCI) as guests, to discuss overcrowding by street vendors during fair week, and to discuss fees and the application of them.

It is incumbent upon the city to provide safety for the community through policing of the streets and park during fair week. The city also provides maintenance of the City Park and clean-up of streets and fair grounds afterwards. All fees collected by the city, through licensing of activities, help to defray those costs and go into the Street Committee budget.

Members of the OCI Board said they are not opposed to the city keeping fees, but pointed out that vendors within the park are from the city’s non-profit groups.

Outside vendors compete for those dollars and take business outside of the fair. Several vendors rent space from private owners and also set up on sidewalks, impeding pedestrian traffic. OCI is content that all monies continue to support the Sidewalk Program.

The Street Committee made the recommendation that, 21 vendor spaces (12’ x 25’) will be allowed in a designated area for a rental fee of $50 per day, plus the purchase of a special business license for $35 (covering Thursday through Sunday during the fair).

The city will take over all vendor placements on College and Main Streets. The closed area, reserved for outside grounds vendors, will include the area between the railroad trestle and Main Street and between Main Street and First Street. Wisconsin Street will be blocked off.

City staff will mark off the designated rental spots. No vendors will be allowed to set up on sidewalks. Vendors still have the option to set-up on private property as long as no public right-of-way is encroached upon.

The city anticipates $2,100 in vendor rental fees and $735 in business licenses. Letters of intent have been mailed to regular vendors, notifying them of fee increases and of spaces available. Spaces are rented on a first come, first served basis.

The city, besides waiving business license fees to non-profit groups, will continue to be supportive of OCI’s functions.
The Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday, at 6 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 217 1st St., Orofino.

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