Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Meredith Voters to Consider Bike Week Vendor Fees
I'm not a big fan of bike week, but I do recognize that it brings in revenue to local businesses, even here in Moultonboro. Meredith is almost ground zero for the event, and the local economy definitely benefits from the influx of bikers. The BoS in Meredith are proposing a $450 fee for vendors and a $500 per day fine for non compliance. The fees would defray the cost of providing town services such as police and fire . According to this article in the Laconia Daily Sun, " Town Manager Phil Warren said that this year expenses were $18,017, which consisted of $7,149 for police overtime, $5,868 for fire service and $5,000 in dues for the town’s membership in the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. Revenues amounted to $660 from special use permits issued to Laconia Harley-Davidson and Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant at $330 apiece." Not a huge amount of money, but it does cost taxpayers to in essence, help subsidize the event. I have not seen any calculation as to the economic benefit to Meredith businesses, but I have to assume that many local businesses rely on this revenue. Meredith is in the minority in regards to not charging vendor fees, but that shouldn't be the sole driver to now do so. I view the money spent as an economic investment so that the strong local economy can remain viable. Anything that diminishes that would not be wise.