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The Preparedness Fair held earlier this year at the Sacajawea Center experienced many communication glitches and misunderstandings for which organizer Vicki Hamilton apologized. She told the October 18 meeting of the Salmon City Council that after listening to recordings of city council meetings during which the June/July 2017 fair was being requested and approved she could see her deepest apologies were appropriate, especially to City Clerk Mary Benton.

In the interest of being prepared Hamilton is beginning the approval process early and has requested five days for the 2018 event. She added that much of the center could remain open during the setting up and take down process and that the event itself is only two days long. Hamilton is asking that fees for the event be waived as they were for this year’s fair.

Sacajawea Center Director Lin Gray pointed out that since this year’s fair the city has added a fee of $500 for a day-long use of the entire facility. She said she felt five days for free is a long time and would amount to $2,500. She confirmed there are occasional requests to rent the entire site.

Council President Jim Baker said he would be more in favor of a fee reduction and asked if the organizers could propose a way for the city to recoup potential lost revenues. He sees the fair with its vendors as a commercial event and said he is not in favor of a total fee waiver.

Hamilton said the fair itself does not charge vendor fees. She said last year, with council approval, the vendors who conducted class presentations or who were local were excused from paying fees. The vendors who came to the fair strictly to sell their wares were charged city vendor fees.

Councilman Jim Bockelman said he doesn’t see the fair as commercial since the groups involved are promoting awareness. He said the city needs to get a better handle on fee waivers.

Councilman Rob Jackson said although five days is a lot it is not fair to charge for offering free information. He said imposing fees would kill a lot of vendor participation and information which is to the benefit of the community.

Hamilton said at this year’s Preparedness Fair there were five classes per hour offered on all kinds of do-it-yourself skills.

Jackson made a motion to approve the event application along with the waivers.

Baker commented that city monies put into the facility are not being recouped and that the action was a push motion by the mayor. He said as he sees it, this is the negotiation phase.

Bockelman said he favored the park being used for the event but was not in favor of granting the waivers right now.

Gray confirmed that a damage deposit would not be included in the waiver motion. She said that as the request and motion stand, all facilities are included. Hamilton said the first day will involve placing stakes in the area south of the Police Station and that the second day vendors will be setting up in the staked-out area plus preparing the classroom for the classes to be taught by instructors.

The motion ended in a tie vote with Councilmen Neal James, Russ Chinske and Jackson voting ‘yes’ and Councilmen Ken Hill, Baker and Bockelman voting ‘no.’ It was up to the mayor to cast the deciding vote. He stated that he agreed the Preparedness Fair is not a commercial event and settled the request for use of the Sacajawea Center by voting ‘yes’

The 2018 Preparedness Fair is scheduled for June 29 and 30.

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