Recreation board get less funding than expected

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— Organizers of Hayden's first summer festival learned Thursday they would need to raise substantially more money than anticipated.

The Hayden Town Board rejected a $2,000 request by the Hayden Recreation Board to defer some of the costs of bringing musicians, artists and vendors to the town's park in July.

Trustees instead voted 3-2 to give $500 to the Hayden Summer Festival.

Lorraine Johnson and Ken Gibbon cast the dissenting votes.

"The board was gracious in giving up $500," said Trustee Richard "Festus" Hagins, who also chairs the recreation board.

Hagins said the smaller amount would not deter the recreation board from going through with its plans.

"We're going to continue to proceed on course," he said. "We're going to regroup and move forward."

Funding for the July 6 event will likely come from many sources.

Hagins said the recreation board would begin circulating a letter to raise money.

Several businesses have already responded with donations and support for the idea, he said.

The festival would include live bands that would perform from 2 to 8:30 p.m. and games and entertainment for the younger crowd.

The recreation board must often come up with self-sufficient programs.

The town, however, gave the recreation board a $2,100 budget that members intend to put toward the Summer Festival.

Recreation director Lindsay Heer said she was disappointed with the board's decision, but it would not set back the board's plan to hold the festival.

"We can't just quit now," she said. "I'm bound and determined to raise that money."

The Town Board was hesitant about funding the full request because the town's budget is so tight, Mayor Chuck Grobe said.

The board prefers organizations to submit their requests before the town formulates its budget, he said.

"We were concerned about the need to come to us at budget time instead of six months later," Grobe said.

The board does not dispute the event, he said, but trustees did not want set a precedent of handing out money it did not have.

"It's a good idea," Grobe added.

The Town Board acted wisely in giving a smaller amount to the recreation board, Town Manager Rob Straebel said.

The board has recently tried to veer away from giving on-the-spot donations, he said.

"We have to live by the credence of not giving donations that are unbudgeted," he said.

Straebel said he was optimistic about the recreation board finding the money to put on the Hayden Summer Festival.

"Hopefully, the community will step up to the plate," he said.

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