Liability insurance and rent to use the firefighters’ field could drive the Marilla Car Show to another town.
Two town residents concerned about the show talked with Town Board members last week.
Members of the committee that runs the show have told board members during recent meetings that the show has become too costly to run because of insurance and a donation they have had to give to the local fire association to rent space.
The organizing group, which donates proceeds of the show to Mercy Flight, looks to cut those costs as it abides by new rules for public gatherings in the town. If not, the two-day show might relocate, members have told the Town Board. In that case, the name of the show would change.
The car show draws about 20,000 visitors over two days. Rising insurance costs and rent issues with the Firemen’s Benevolent Association have eaten into the funds they can provide to the nonprofit Mercy Flight, group representatives have said.
Organizers thought liability insurance the town required them to buy last year would cost about $500, and instead it cost three times that, town officials have said.
Town residents Larry Murphy and Carl Dreshel appeared before the Town Board at a Tuesday night work session to talk about keeping the car show in Marilla.
Supervisor George Gertz told the men that the town would require liability insurance under the terms of the new events permit now required for large gatherings not run by the town.
Gertz also said he has been told that car show organizers have approached at least two other towns about moving the event out of Marilla.
Murphy and Dreshel told board members they worked on previous Marilla Car Shows but did not run them.
Gertz has told organizers that, although they’ll be expected to pay for liability insurance, the town, as in the past, would hire sheriff’s deputies to direct traffic and that town sanitation workers would clean up after the show. The Town Board budgeted money to cover these expenses in the 2013 spending plan.
Town Attorney Joel Kratzhalts went over the permit and application process. The new permit will require any group running the car show to supply proof of insurance, names and cellphone numbers of organizers and contact people, Health Department permits for food vendors, and where donation proceeds will go. The new events law prohibits any use of municipal property to make money for private use.
Dreshel and Murphy said they hoped the show would be able to remain in Marilla at the same location on Two Rod Road and would share information with organizers.
Also last week, the Town Board approved hiring the Stewart and Brown Agency to come up with a farmland protection plan for the town at a cost of $25,000.