City reveals breakdown of $417,838 concert spending plan

400-LITZINGER-MUMFORDAlthough it was not released to the public prior to the last City Commission meeting, Comptroller Mark Litzinger included a breakdown of spending categories with his final request to the St Johns County Board of Commissioners for payment of $129,485 from bed tax funds for transportation of the 25,000 Mumford and Sons concertgoers.

In a split vote, three-of-five commissioners approved the speculative $417,838 budget with Vice-Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline opposed. Commissioner Leanna Freeman did not attend the meeting.

At least one other “stopover” city, the Dayton, Ohio suburb of Troy, has sold 25,000 tickets as well — however; when asked by residents, Troy Main Street reported that NO TAXPAYER MONEY is being used to fund the private concert. According to their website, “expenses for the concert are being funded by the concert producers through ticket, merchandise, and refreshment sale revenue.”

Further, to the extent that local governments, the school district, and other organizations in Troy incur costs, Troy Main Street says, “they will be fully reimbursed by the concert producers.”

 

GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD STOPOVER

ST AUGUSTINE, FL SEPTEMBER 13-14

Summary Shuttle Budget

TOTAL BUDGETED EXPENDITURES

58 Buses: 16 hours daily – 2 days

174,000

City Staff Overtime

6,400

Field Clean Up

7,868

Field Prep

18,750

Life Safety Evaluation

3,500

Pedestrian Signage

16,500

Restrooms throughout  City

5,640

SAFD Citywide

11,412

SAPD Field Only

32,670

SAPD Neighborhoods

21,780

Satellite Parking Restrooms Lighting

11,775

Security Airport Parking

7,820

Shuttle Ticketing

6,250

SJC Consulting Agreement

50,000

SJFR EMT Field Only

22,295

SJFR EMT Neighborhoods

3,960

SJSO Support

16,718

Wireless Data

500

TOTAL BUDGETED EXPENDITURES

417,838

Many Historic City News readers have written; questioning the propriety of using public funds to finance a for-profit private venture. Some are concerned by the appearance that the concert was approved, terms negotiated with the concert producer, and private meetings held between the administration, and one or more commissioners, prior to bringing the nearly half-million dollar commitment before the public and full city commission.

The St Johns County Commission will hear the $129,485 bed tax funds request for approval, which has already received the green light from the Tourist Development Council, during its regular business meeting on Tuesday. Also on the agenda, a recommendation for the county to accept payment from the city of $50,000 in consulting fees; placing the county’s Cultural Division at the disposal of city staff that have no expertise in hosting an entertainment event of this scale.

If you are planning to attend — the regular meeting of the St Johns County Commission will begin at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday and will be held in the County Auditorium; on the first floor of the County Administration Palace located at 500 San Sebastian View in St Augustine. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Government TV (Cable Channel 3) and is streamed over the Internet.

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