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Council denies request for funds

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news Farmington, 55024
Farmington Independent
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Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

It's back to the drawing board for CEEF.

A request for assistance to cover $25,000 in outstanding bills from the 2009 Dew Days city celebration was turned down by the Farmington City Council Tuesday, even though the assistance would have been in the form of a loan.

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In August, Castle Rock-Empire-Eureka-Farmington Areawide Enhancement Group chairperson Julie McKnight asked the council to consider allocating funds to help the struggling group, which funds community events like Dew Days, the Halloween Walk and Community Expo, to help with the $25,000 deficit left after this year's celebration. City administrator Peter Herlofsky cautioned the council the assistance would not have been a gift, but a loan or grant.

Still, the idea was not one two of three council members in attendance Tuesday cared to support.

Citing concerns about setting precedent, council member Julie May acknowledged both Herlofsky and mayor Todd Larson are on the CEEF board, but did not want to get the city involved with a nonprofit's financial situation.

"I'm still not convinced we have an obligation to loan CEEF money," she said.

Many of the vendors from the celebration who are left unpaid are local businesses and supporters. Larson pointed out that a loan would give the organization the funds necessary to pay off the debts, while still providing funding to help carry on future events.

"Dew Days is important to the city and it's important to continue," he said.

Larson made a motion to provide the loan to CEEF, but neither May nor council member Steve Wilson supported it, and the motion died for lack of a second. Council members Christy Jo Fogarty and Terry Donnelly were absent from the meeting.

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