Council offers financial support of Fourth of July Parade

City Council
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Monticello City Council heard a presentation from Chair of the Monticello Fourth of July Parade Committee Tom Osborne during the April 5 council meeting.

     Along with the presentation, the committee requested the council’s consideration of $200 as a financial sponsor.

     For years, the Monticello Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) financially supported the Fourth of July Parade. This year, the MACC Board of Directors “has determined that MACC can’t be the sole entity responsible for funding this community event.” MACC Director Joan Hoag does serve on the committee as an advisor, as well as secretary/treasurer. MACC will continue to be the parade’s fiscal agent.

     In a letter to the council, Osborne explained, “… MACC has realized that the Fourth of July celebration is truly a community event that recognizes individuals and organizations beyond MACC itself or its members.”

     To keep the event moving and to seek funding/sponsorships, the long-standing parade committee was expanded to now include: Annette Smith, Dan Goodyear, Chris Lux, Osborne, Judy Tuetken, Jan Hoag, Kim Brooks, Rae Ann Manternach, and Jacob Oswald.

     The committee is seeking 10 $100 sponsors for a total of $1,000. This would help with advertising, printing, banners, vehicle decorations, candy, t-shirts, and awards.

     Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fourth of July Parade was cancelled in 2020. This year, the parade will revert back to its original route using N. Sycamore Street.

     The committee has been meeting on a monthly basis since January 2021.

     Aside from funding, Osborne said the committee is also working on volunteer recruiting and retention.

     “We need approximately 30 volunteers to provide safety along the route,” Osborne stated in his letter.

     The 2021 Fourth of July Parade will take place on Sunday, July 4, at noon.

     With the committee’s funding request to the council, it was also explained that the city could take on the entire event as the sole sponsor.

     Council member Tom Yeoman asked what the city’s in-kind financial contribution amounts to, utilizing Public Works employees and the police department.

     Public Works Director Nick Kahler said they deliver no-parking signs and barricades along the route prior to the parade. Kahler estimated a cost of about $200 for their time. The volunteers set up the barricades just before the parade kicks off.

     Police Chief Britt Smith said the department uses on-duty officers to place cones and closed down First Street during the parade, which amounts to a couple of hours of time.

     “The city already contributes,” noted Yeoman.

     He asked Osborne how the parade event was funded in the past, saying the council has never been asked to contribute before. (The council does appropriate $2,600 toward the fireworks every year.)

     Chamber Director Jan Hoag said the chamber has floated the funding of the parade in the past, to the tune of $500. In 2017, they began seeking sponsors due to a loss in funding.

     Council member Chris Lux added that the Monticello Express has donated advertising costs as well, “which helps with the expenses.”

     Lux said if the city took over the parade event entirely, that would take up a lot of staff hours.

     Lux was in favor of the $200 contribution.

     “It brings thousands of people and showcases our community,” she said.

     “This is a minimal amount of money,” added Council member Dave Goedken. “We want this event to continue on.”

     The council approved the sponsorship request.

     Mayor Brian Wolken noted that the chamber has requested a portion of the Hotel/Motel Tax revenue in the past. The council never appropriated the money until a specific need was presented, much like the Fourth of July Parade.

     “We could use that money for the parade because it draws people to our community,” Wolken said. “It’s good use of that money.”

     The council amended its motion to take the funding from Hotel/Motel Tax.

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