FloydFest parking: An issue that just won’t go away
Floyd County Board of Supervisors chairman Case Clinger is determined to try and get more money from the folks at FloydFest over the use of lots in the county after heavy rains forced closure of the close-in lots at the event last July.
The county school system sent buses and drivers to FloydFest to help with transportation and opened lots at the high school and elementary school in Floyd for use. When those lots overflowed, parking was diverted to the Dreaming Creek lot at the Commerce Center in Franklin Pike and then other space at the Commerce Center when that lot ran out of space.
FloydFest paid a little over $17,000 to the school system for the $50 an hour rate for use of the buses and drivers and school superintendent Dr. Kevin Harris said the schools make a $9,000 profit.
Not enough, says Clinger, who first wanted the county to charge for use of the lots at the Commerce Center. But the county doesn’t have an ordinance to charge for parking and county attorney Jim Cornwell says the Commerce Center is owned by the Economic Development Authority, not the the county, and only they have the authority to charge for parking.
So Clinger instructed County Administrator Dan Campbell to tell the EDA to charge FloydFest retroactively for use of the lots, even though no count of the number of cars parked there exists and no fee was set before the lots were used. If he EDA rejects the “request,” Clinger suggests they may face retaliation from the board at budget time.
Some business owners in Floyd say they saw substantial increased business from use of the lots. They say Clinger is going overboard with his campaign to obtain more money from FloydFest, which is contributing more than $70,000 to local charities this year.
They point out that Floyd County made money from FloydFest for use of the school buses and that trying to impose a fee retroactively would put the county in a bad light from a pubic relations standpoint.
Clinger says constituents he has heard from support his actions.
Some who feel Clinger is out of line plan to attend the Sept. 24 meeting of the Board of Supervisors to express their feelings during the public comment period.
Long-time newspaperman, photographer and videographer who still shoots photos and covers government and courts for a newspaper, shoots video for TV and documentary use and owns web sites like Blue Ridge Muse, Capitol Hill Blue and American Newsreel.