Riverfest budget tightensPublished 8:49pm Monday, July 9, 2012
Niles’ 20th annual Riverfest Aug. 2-5 will do without its $2,500 contribution and golf carts, City Council decided Monday night.
The council did, however, offer to pay festival utility bills from its contingency fund, then revisit the matter next year.
Councilman William Weimer abstained from the vote which occurred after the council removed Riverfest from seven routine consent agenda items.
“It will really be tight, but you’ve been good to us for 20 years,” said Weimer’s wife, Marie. “I know times are tough, so you have to do what’s best for our city.”
“St. Joe got rid of the Venetian Festival because it couldn’t afford it,” Councilman Scott Clark said.
In a companion motion, the council granted a Niles/DDA Main Street request to conduct the annual Dragon Boat Challenge Aug. 3-4 during Riverfest on the St. Joseph River.
July 9 council action:
• Approved a request from Niles High School Class of 1972 for its 40-year reunion Aug. 3-5 at the Bell Building, granting exclusive use of the city parking lot at 4th and Sycamore streets to accommodate its reception tent.
• Set a public hearing at 5:55 p.m. Aug. 13 to hear comments on the FY2012 Community Development Block Grant action plan.
• Directed its planning commission to review the zoning ordinance and recommend changes to allow fur use of a communication tower in Niles Industrial Park and for creation of a “zoning overlay” to allow for construction of such towers only in the industrial park.
• Approved a request from the Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Committee to have its annual open house Aug. 11-12.