Community Event in Jeopardy for Lack of Funds

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email
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HARRISONBURG, Va.--- A community event may not happen this year if organizers do not receive enough money to fund it.

The International Festival organizers requested $9,000 from the city council for operational costs. In a budget survey, nearly 25 people asked the city to provide the funds for the event.

According to co-chair David Kreider, the money would help run the festival at Hillandale Park, downtown events, and the soccer tournament on Sunday.

Currently, donations keep the festival running every year. However, Kreider says, the amount donated by supporters varies year to year.

He says it is difficult to keep up with the costs of the festival as more people attend every year. In 2013, the festival had 8,900 people, this is a 15 percent increase from 2012.

Kreider says organizers came to close to canceling the event last year.

"We have been thinking seriously about that each year now. It is a very real concern for us," says Kreider..

Vice-Mayor Charles Chenault says, the City supports agencies that perform a function that is essential to the city. If the agency was not able to perform it, the city would have to.

According to Chenault, in the past couple of years, the city has not increased funding for the agencies it supports. Also, it has not added extra agencies to support.

City Manager Kurt Hodgen will present his proposed budget to City Council by April 30. Hodgen will also give his recommendations on funding priorities.

Chenault says, the decision will depend on what the budget looks like for next year.

"If this budget comes out with a real tax increase of so many cents per hundred, that changes things. That creates the dilemma are we going to cut some of this stuff and not increase taxes or are we going to fund some of it and increase taxes," says Chenault.

Chenault says, the City already helps with the event. The Parks and Recreation Department helps organizers plan and set up the event. In addition, the City provides shuttles for people to attend the event.


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