A check of laws and discussions with lawyers and legal experts who know a few things about the law suggests the Floyd County Board of Supervisors has neither the authority or the legal right to retroactively charge an organization or business for a service after the fact.
More than a few readers have also told us that attempts to get more money from the organization would also tarnish the county’s reputation for stepping up and helping out those who were in trouble when heavy runs and other problems turned parking at this year’s festival into a nightmare.
Floyd County’s school system collected more than $17,000 from Across the Way Productions when it charged $50 an hour for use of each school bus and driver during the event. The company paid the bill promptly and the amount gave the school system a $9,000 profit after the drivers were paid and the buses were cleaned.
Farmers near the FloydFest site say the festival company also paid them promptly for towing cars out of the muddy fields.
When the schools and county offered use of the school parking lots in Floyd and the lots at the commerce center, a fee was not assessed. It was simply a public entity stepping forward to offer service and help in a time of need. Now, there is talk of tacking on a per car fee of $15.
Every lawyer we’ve talked to questions the legality of a retroactive parking fee. Most also question the ethics of such a move.
Time to put this year’s event behind us, concentrate on lessons learned, and move on?