Board To Discuss Renaissance Faire Issues: Debt, Security, Construction
The fair's parent organization, Renaissance St. Louis, plans to pay off their debt to the city after next year's event.
At the June 27 meeting, Alderman Forrest Gossett requested that the city take a look at RSL's tax forms and discuss the city's financial commitment to the fair as well as RSL's outstanding debt to the city.
On July 20, RSL board members met with city staff "to address building concerns, public safety, gate revenue, modifications to the agreement, and future expansion of structures and to provide open communication."
The following items were discussed:
- The city's Building Department and fire district staff will inspect the fair site each year (on or about April 15), with a follow-up inspection two days before the fair opens.
- The city and fire district will also inspect the site in September to list possible concerns about items such as electrical, plumbing, building and deck construction and security which can be addressed sooner.
- The city building department will meet with RSL representatives about expansion and construction standards.
- The city will assist with a map to identify structures in the case of vandalism or safety concerns.
- The lease agreement with the city will be reviewed for possible changes, including banning the use of recreational vehicles on the lower field after human waste was found dumped on the lower field after last spring's fair. RSL may also be required to show records of gray-water waste removal.
- RSL plans to pay off the balance owed to the city ($11,580 plus 5 percent of 2012 gate receipts) after their 2013 event. RSL does not have a final accounting from the 2012 event, but they hope to pay the 2012 gate percentage within the next few weeks.
- A "gaming loss" of $37,130 which was reported on RSL's 2010 IRS 990 form was corrected.
- Chief of Police Lisa Harrison asked for additional police security, and RSL representatives said that they would take it under advisement.
- The 2013 Renaissance Faire will be held for four weekends as always. Earlier this year, RSL had announced that the event would run for six weekends for the 15th anniversary year. The pirate festival is still under consideration for 2013.
Per Gossett's request, the parks department submitted a breakdown of city expenses for the 2012 Renaissance Faire, which included the costs of maintainence, supplies and equipment and lost pavilion revenue. That total was $2863.73.
Editor's Note: The author of this story served as volunteer executive director of Renaissance St. Louis from January 2008 to March 2010.