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Street Fair may cost city $10,939
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• WHAT: Crossroads of California Street Fair
• WHEN: Saturday, April 4 & Sunday April 5, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• WHERE: Downtown Manteca
• MORE INFO: For booth space, call the Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau at 823-7229

Community events such as the two-day Crossroads Street Fair and the two-day Pumpkin Fair don’t come cheap.

The Manteca City Council typically waives fees to set-up and take down traffic control, street sweeping afterwards and solid waste collection. They also don’t charge for police overtime.

A request to waive fees for the upcoming street fair staged by the Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau April 4-5 is on Tuesday’s council agenda.

The general fund budget contains $8,000 to handle such requests if they are granted by the council.

Assistant City Manager Karen McLaughlin in a memo to the council noted actual city costs for the two-day event is expected to hit $10,939.81. That includes $1,510.27 in costs incurred by the streets division and $629.54 for solid waste. There is also $8,800 in police overtime including eight officers each day for eight hours, mounted patrol plus four gang detectives for six hours on that Sunday. That amount includes staffing for the Megan’s Law and crime prevention booth for both days.

If the council concurs, staff would transfer $1,139.81 out of the $5,900 remaining in the $8,000 budget for special events and add it to the streets and solid waste accounts. Police overtime would be increased by $8,800.

“I suspect the council will go along with it this year but if things get tighter by next year that may not happen,” said Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford.

If a cutback was in order in the future, the mayor said the city might start by scaling back its police presence.

The mayor noted the street fair – which attracts upwards of 45,000 people a year – has community benefits and generates money for non-profits.

The city this budget year already has underwritten $1,075 for the Pumpkin Fair, $800 for the Fourth of July parade, and $225 for the Kaiser Health Fair. There was also police costs related to the Pumpkin Fair and Fourth of July parade the city absorbed. The Pumpkin Fair has a slightly higher police cost than the street fair.

The city was reimbursed for its costs for the Christmas parade. The Manteca Chamber of Commerce was able to get the Manteca Ministerial Association to underwrite the cost so it could be called a Christmas parade and not a holiday parade.

Court rulings bar the use of taxpayer money for religious purposes. Although never challenged, the city attorney’s office has offered its opinion that the use of city money to help stage a Christmas parade would be improper under court rulings.

The city is already shifting the Fourth of July activities at the Big League Dreams sports complex plus the fireworks show to the evening of July 3 to avoid overtime on top of holiday pay. There has been no discussion about moving the Fourth of July parade up a day. The city would incur holiday overtime instead of straight overtime by keeping the Fourth of July parade on July 4.