By Ron Munden
Commissioner Halliday started his discussion on Wonderland of Lights.
The Wonderland of Lights Festival is supposed to be a tourism attraction.
This is why HOT funds are provided for the event. As such, I do not believe
that money from the General Fund should be spent on this event. Money in
the General Fund that is spent on Wonderland of Lights is not available for
other projects such as our infrastructure including street repairs and
I will support increasing the allocation of HOT funds to pay for this event,
but I am opposed to diverting money from the General Fund for this
I would rather see another organization such as the Chamber of Commerce
take responsibility for this event. That organization has declined to do so.
I am open to have another organization take over this event, but I do not
want money from the General Fund being diverted to this tourism event.
Again, I will support increasing the allocation of HOT funds to pay for this
Therefore, I move:
That the expenditures for the Wonderland of Lights Festival be limited to
the total of: the amount of the HOT funds allocation; the donations
received; and the revenue derived from the event itself. No other funds
should be spent by the city.
Commissioner Halliday has stated that general funds should be used to fund the core city functions not festivals. His motion was to cap the expenditures for WOL and prevent the use of the general funds to cover cost overruns for WOL.
Unlike most projects WOL does not have an operating budget and no general funds are budgeted for WOL.
By the City Commission’s lack of action, they confined that they are comfortable with giving WOL an open check book and covering all over expenditures with general funds.