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Campaign on to save Downtown Tuesday Nights

Popular event may be cancelled unless city and merchants raise more money
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Roseville may loose the popular Downtown Tuesday Nights event this year, unless the city and local merchants figure out a way to raise $15,000 needed to keep the event afloat. The Roseville City Council on Wednesday discussed whether the city can afford to give $15,000 in-kind services for street closures, traffic engineering and refuse costs to Johny 5 Productions, the company that puts on the annual event. The city currently faces an $11 million budget shortfall. During the last fiscal year, the city spent $113 million and generated $102 million in revenue. “I’m conflicted with what we can do as a city right now,” said Mayor Gina Garbolino. The city council voted unanimously to provide no more than $10,000 in funding for the event, contingent on an effort by downtown merchants to raise the additional funds. City Attorney Brita Bayless will determine if the city can draw from its redevelopment funds to help meet the request for in-kind services. The council’s decision followed a long discussion about the social and economic value of Downtown Tuesday Nights. During the weekly event, thousands of Roseville residents — and people outside the area — enjoy classic cars, food, a farmer’s market, vendors, entertainment, and a beer and wine garden. Scott Alvord, president of the Downtown Roseville Merchants Association, said the event generates substantial revenue for his Vernon Street business. He owns A Dash of Panache. He said the event has also been successful in drawing new merchants to downtown. “I know our merchants really appreciate this event,” Alvord said. The event typically runs for 13 weeks from May through July. Councilman John Allard spoke in favor of Downtown Tuesday Nights but cautioned that paying for the event should not come at the potential expense of eliminating city jobs or services. “If we’re going to give you $15,000, where do we take it from?” Allard asked the merchants. Interim City Manager Mike Shellito said city staff will work to develop innovative solutions for reducing the costs of in-kind services. Council members asked that downtown merchants make a concerted effort to generate sponsorships to help cover the event costs. Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com