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Dew Days is 'paid in full'

In 2009, the Farmington City Council took a leap of faith in the community's Dew Days celebration. On Monday, that faith paid off. Literally.

Back in 2009, the Castle Rock-Empire-Eureka-Farmington Areawide Enhancement Group --EMDASH-- otherwise known as CEEF --EMDASH-- came to the Farmington City Council to ask for a $23,271 loan. The funds were needed to pay vendors from that year's city celebration, which was not financially successful, and to set another $5,000 aside as seed money for the 2010 celebration.

Council members approved the loan, with the stipulation it was paid back in full by July 31, 2015. On Monday, CEEF made its last payment to the city of Farmington, less than a week short of fulfilling the financial obligation two years early. CEEF has also paid back a loan given to the organization by Empire Township.

CEEF president Julie McKnight brought a check for $9,307 to this week's Farmington City Council meeting. With it, she brought words of gratitude.

"I firmly believe that without the foresight of the city of Farmington and Empire Township, we would not have a Dew Days organization today," McKnight said. "We had a very large debt to pay back and there's no way we could have moved forward without it.

After 2009's event, CEEF and the Dew Days committee made a number of changes to the event. The celebration was moved back to the downtown area, instead of the fairgrounds or near the Schmitz-Maki ice arena, where it had been held for a couple of years. It was also shortened from 10 days to four.

The restructuring came about thanks to the commitment from a number of hard-working volunteers, McKnight said. Thanks to them, the 2013 Dew Days celebration was very successful, and she expects that success to continue to the future.

"I just want to say, thank you very much, and paid in full," she told council members.

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 served as 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. 

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