Clovis News

Clovis exempts 7 events from new fee plan

Sponsors of events that have become a way of life in Clovis will not have to pay fees for services provided by the city, such as police and firefighters, under a new policy supported Monday night by the City Council.

The council backed the plan because of tourism from seven major events: farmers markets; Clovis Rodeo and parade; Fourth of July FreedomFest; ClovisFest; Children's Electrical Parade; Big Hat Days; and Antique and Collectible Fair.

Those events were singled out because of the revenue they bring into the city and other benefits the city receives from the groups, which offer scholarships and donate to local programs, including city-supported projects, said Chad Fitzgerald, the city's special projects manager.

For the events, the city has charged about $30,460. The city's costs actually are about $67,000 annually.

A major reason for further subsidizing the events is the 380,000 people they bring to the city and taxable sales revenue estimated to be about $76,067 annually, city officials say.

"These events define Clovis, keep people here, keep their tax dollars here and bring in outside groups to participate," Fitzgerald said.

The new fee structure also will create a program where one person serves as the city's contact for groups wanting to hold events.

Mayor Harry Armstrong supported the plan because the groups involved have a history of helping the city.

"We have bragged about the cooperation [in Clovis]," he said. "If we work with them and give them guidance I think it's a win-win for both sides."

Groups holding events will continue to pay for refuse and street sweeping provided by the city, Fitzgerald said.

But those who have been footing the bill were pleased. The Clovis Chamber of Commerce will save about $12,000, said Fran Blackney, the chamber's communications director.

"It was good to see the amounts we bring in are quantified by the city and we appreciate that," she said.

Other groups wanting to hold downtown Clovis events will be required to pay costs directly linked to their events, such as police and fire services.

The new policy will begin when the new budget year starts July 1.