Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Or perhaps the question is "how much?"
Three things must change about Kimball Days, and all are out of the control of the city or the Kimball Days committee:
¥ The city auditor has told the city they can no longer accept and use money for Kimball Days. Another organization, such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Lions Club, must take over running Kimball Days. And the same people now involved with Kimball Days can continue to be, only through the hosting organization.
Therefore, this will be the last year that the city will accept donations and pay expenses related to Kimball Days. Starting next year, this must change.
¥ The city may no longer divert traffic for the Kimball Days parade in the way it has in the past.
For one thing, the city is now required to post 19 detour signs, to be visible as traffic nears Kimball. (Rental of these signs will cost the city $900 each year.)
For another, Linden Avenue is insufficient to divert traffic during the parade. It is difficult to maneuver and, according to police chief Jim Frilstad, poses significant hazard.
In addition, MnDOT has received a number of complaints about the unannounced diversion of traffic through Kimball during the parade each year.
¥ More fundraising must be done in order to be able to continue Kimball Days in the future (regardless of whether fireworks are a part of Kimball Days). As of the special meeting called last Thursday, June 24, nearly $2,600 in donations had been received by the city for this year's Kimball Days. According to mayor Tammy Konz, this is not enough to cover costs of the parade alone.
It was with these uncontrol-lable changes in mind that the 2010 Kimball Days committee decided to change things around this year. The most contentious, as it turned out, was the decision to move the parade from 2 p.m. Sunday to 10 a.m. Saturday.
It would be an understatement to say that decision stirred things up in town. At Thursday's meeting, about 30 people showed up to passionately plead for a return to the Sunday parade. A number of reasons were given, including: those who have to work Saturday would miss the parade (either being in it or watching it), some businesses could not participate on Saturday because of work, conflicts with volleyball and softball tournaments, people don't like change, and no one will come out for anything else on Sunday if there's no parade that day.
Nothing was decided at this meeting that lasted just over two hours. The city council has returned the decision to the Kimball Days committee which will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, at city hall. The committee will present its decision at the next council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 7.
To be honest, despite the uncomfortable conflict raised, it's great to see so many people excited and passionate about Kimball Days again. I trust that, whatever plan emerges, cooperation will prevail and that passion will help to make for a great 2010 Kimball Days.
In the light of full disclosure, I am on the Kimball Days committee, but I missed that now-contentious meeting.