November 30th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JONATHAN CROWL News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall

Why City Council Will Consider Another Grant To The Rose Festival

Does Portland's City Council still feel guilty about its duct tape ban for the Rose Festival?

We'll find out Wednesday when the council considers a proposed ordinance [PDF] that would give the 2010 Rose Festival a $19,650 grant to help with parade amenities. It would be the third year in a row the Rose Festival received a grant to improve restroom facilities and sidewalk accessibility along the parade route, according to Rose Festival director Jeff Curtis.

And it comes on top of other generosity shown by the council toward the festival, as in a great deal on rent while the festival sold its headquarters recently for nearly $1.1 million, according to Multnomah County records.

The impetus for the grants came in 2008, when Randy Leonard organized a successful movement to eliminate the use of duct tape for claiming spots along the parade route.

"[The grant proposal] was a by-product of the city wanting to make the parade route special but at the same time discontinue the use of duct tape," Curtis says.

Counting similar grants dispersed for the 2008 and 2009 parades, the approval of this year's grant would mean nearly $90,000 has been provided to the festival.

"The thing that we've been working with them in pursuing is a sustainable financing approach for their larger operation," says Ty Kovatch, Leonard's chief of staff. "Part of it's their economy and part of it's the weather. They've just had some financial challenges the past five years or so."
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