Parks plans to draft vendor ordinances

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How the Parks Department enforces an exclusive rights contract, and the proposal made by Slaughter Trail Guides (STG) to lease the two shuttles Parks currently owns, dominated the Oct. 27 workshop. Commissioner Kevin Reuhle voiced his opposition to any exclusive rights contract and questioned how Parks could enforce such a contract pointing to Interim-Director Scott Miskiel for emphasis, “Is he supposed to enforce it?”

Miskiel pointed out that Parks does not require vendors to pay for permits and asked if the commission accepts the proposal, “How do we transmute that to an exclusive right?” There was mention that Parks policies were not enforceable by city police, with Miskiel citing people selling items in Basin Park in the past for a “donation.” He continued that without a city ordinance there wouldn’t be any way for Parks to enforce exclusive rights.

City franchise ordinances were referenced as a possible guideline for Parks to follow in drafting an ordinance.

Reuhle said that there was no purchase value for the shuttle vehicles, and that whether STG takes over maintenance costs was not defined. The proposal does include a monthly lease of $1350 for the vehicles, and STG could acquire equity towards the value of the equipment equal to the lease payments. A sale price would need to be negotiated.

Reuhle also said that with Parks only getting 10 percent of net revenue, Parks would only be getting a few thousand dollars annually from the shuttles.

Owner Dustin Slaughter asked if he could comment, but commissioners refused, saying they did not want to open a workshop to comments.

Discussion on how Parks could be profitable with only a single shuttle followed, as well as the value of an exclusive right. Commissioners shared stories of shuttle outfits, not associated with Parks, getting into verbal altercations at Lake Leatherwood City Park, and patrons calling commissioners or the interim-director to complain. Miskiel said the issue is a symptom of the larger issue of Parks not being able to enforce requirements of vendors.

Miskiel said a draft vendor ordinance could be made for the city to consider that included fees and required information potential vendors would need to hand to Parks before gaining rights to sell on ESP&R property. The commission agreed to make a separate workshop to begin drafting that ordinance.

STG’s proposal was left by the wayside due to not every commissioner having looked at the full proposal recently and admitting it.

Chair Ruth Hager told commissioners that the bid process had been completed correctly, even with the clerical error, stretching the process out an extra month and that Parks would need to consider the proposal made by STG.

The next Parks meeting will be on Nov. 17.

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