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City spent $6,400 on Dew Days

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News Farmington,Minnesota 55024 http://www.farmingtonindependent.com/sites/all/themes/farmingtonindependent_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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City spent $6,400 on Dew Days
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Though community volunteers plan Farmington's annual Dew Days celebration, the festival also relies on some help from the city of Farmington.

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Besides the events city staff plan, there are extra police on duty, the sanitation crews have to keep the community clean and seasonal staff help with events like the Dew Run. It's not a burden - it's just the way it is in Farmington.

But how much does that extra help actually cost? Outside of police officers and liquor store clerks, not too many city employees work weekends. Working Dew Days also means overtime or comp time for several staffers.

Administrative staff, like police chief Brian Lindquist who was the chairman of the 2010 event, weren't counted when it came to figuring up how much the city spent on Dew Days. His contributions were either rolled in to his regular salary, or else counted as volunteer time. The same went for the two administrative employees who helped to plan the Miss Farmington pageant.

Those contributions aside, the city still paid out $6,419.41 in additional wages for staff. Of that, $4,626.50 was for comp time and overtime; the remainder was for regular hours.

Dedicating funds

The 2010 Dew Days event itself netted a profit of more than $8,000, which is a positive change from a year ago. The 2009 celebration struggled financially, leaving organizers with a $20,000 debt, and forced them to ask the city of Farmington for a loan.

Farmington City Council members agreed to a $20,000 loan to the Castle-Rock-Empire-Eureka-Farmington Enhancement Group help get the event back on solid ground. CEEF is the fiscal agent for the event. The loan, though, came with the stipulation that the city will see some reimbursement on an annual basis.

In the past few weeks, city administrator Peter Herlofsky has met with Dew Days organizers to review the celebration, and to talk about future ones. Herlofsky expected to talk more about CEEF's reimbursement for 2010's celebration at a meeting this week.

On Monday, he asked Farmington City Council members if they would like to take the city's participation one step further. In past years, he said, the city of Farmington had budgeted $10,000 for the annual celebration. But that funding was dropped a few years ago when event organizers indicated they would like in-kind donations of service from the city, instead.

As the city council works through its 2011 budget process, Herlofsky asked whether council members wanted to continue on an in-kind basis, or if they wanted to have a set number on file. The council favored setting aside a specific amount, but did not identify what that would be.

"If that's the direction we're going to take, then we should budget for it," said council member Julie May.

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Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and is the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
(651) 702-0974
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