Council Tables Motion for CAFE Usage of Palmer Commons

By Seth Kinker,

The Chelsea Area Festivals and Events (CAFE) requested to use the Palmer Commons for the annual Sounds and Sights festival that takes place every summer at the Chelsea City Council meeting on Feb. 4

While making the request, Craig Common, the representative from CAFE, was in attendance and said although the request was made, they’re not fully committed to using the stage just yet as they finalize their budget and want to walk the space to make sure it would work logistically and physically.

The request was made to ensure they would have those Thursdays available, but want to make sure they can fit a band or whatever activity they want to put there. The library across the street is another stage often used but CAFE needs to make sure bands can co-exist acoustically, with live auditions for bands to be held on Mar. 4

Council member Jane Pacheco noted that the space was perfect for something like this and asked when CAFE would know.

Common said there was a budget meeting and festival meeting to be held the week of Feb 4 to finalize plans and that they would let the city know before the Mar. 4 date if the rental request was still something they wanted to follow through with.

Johnson asked if council were to approve the request, when would CAFE confirm the request?

Common answered that it boiled down to if the council accepted the reduced fee request, CAFE was requesting $25 per use.

A reduced fee was added to the rental agreement for the Palmer Commons for Chelsea non-profits that utilize the space multiple times for events that are free and open to the public.

Johnson referenced the $35 per day fee agreed to at the last council meeting for the Farmers Market to use the space and asked council how to treat local non-profits equally. Pacheco agreed that the city wants to subsidize the cost for the local nonprofits, but touched on the fact that the fee and space wasn’t built to make money, it was for events such as these, but the fee covers the cleaning and administrative costs.

Updated insurance will need to be submitted before the events can take place and council agreed to pass the motion that the $35 per usage would be the fee.

At that time, however, Common noted that with the $35 fee, there wasn’t a line item in the CAFE’s budget for the requested 11 days at a cost of $35 each.

Common withdrew the motion until CAFE could discuss more and the council tabled the motion until the next council meeting.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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