Commission deliberates parade fee waivers


300-ROYAL-CELTIC-PARADESince a new ordinance went into effect June 1st, the few parades, races or processions still held in St Augustine, known as “Right-of-Way events”, are required to fully reimburse the city from a menu of estimated costs; ostensibly incurred for the use of public streets or other city resources.

With the first batch of invoices in hand, four annual parades, some that have entertained St Augustine families for generations, have come forward to say the estimates are excessive and prohibitive. Phil Genovar told the commission previously that if the all-volunteer committee has to pay the city over $6,000 in fees, the 54-year-old St Augustine Easter Festival and parade will likely come to an end.

“The Commission will be required to grant or deny the request for each waiver,” said Paul Williamson, the Director or Public Affairs. “If the waiver is granted, the event will be classified as a city event and funds to cover expenses will be paid out of the General Fund for the foreseeable future.”

The total amount of waivers requested for the four events is $15,915.50.

The city has determined that the events will cost the following amounts:

• British Night Watch – 12/6/2013 – $858.00
• Christmas Parade- 12/7/2013- $5,746.00
• St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 3/8/2014 – $2,974.50
• Easter Parade- 4/20/2014- $6,337.00

Williamson said that the proposed invoices were shared with the city’s department heads to be sure that the actual costs wouldn’t exceed the estimates provided to the event organizers.

If you plan to attend, the City Commission Meeting will be held Monday, October 28, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Alcazar Room of the City Hall Building located at 75 King Street in St Augustine. You can watch the meeting live on Comcast Government Television channel 3.