WILDWOOD — City Commission voted 2-1 Wednesday afternoon to rescind its beach-event fee ordinance, part of a compromise reached with island tourism officials last week.
Morey’s Piers President Will Morey had said he would move popular events such as the Beach Blast soccer tournament out of the city if some agreement could not be reached on the fees.
On Wednesday, Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. thanked the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority for negotiating the deal that kept the events in town while providing the city with an extra $45,000 to help pay the costs associated with hosting major events.
Commissioner Pete Byron, however, said he could not vote to rescind the ordinance because the tourism authority had not yet given the city a signed contract agreeing to provide the money.
John Siciliano, executive director of the authority, attempted to assure Byron that the money would be forthcoming.
“The board has given me the authority to commit to you the $45,000,” he told the commissioners.
He said the tourism authority board would meet Thursday night to vote on it.
Under the agreement reached last week, the authority would pay the city $45,000 to help defray some of the costs. In addition, Morey’s Piers, which paid $70,000 last year to the city for costs related to those events, would pay the same amount in 2014.
The city had attempted to institute a new fee structure charging per person. An event drawing 1,501 people, for instance, would pay $2 per person.
The city will instead revert to its previous fee schedule, which charged per event. For instance, an event lasting two days and one night cost $1,500.
Morey had issued a letter saying the events would be moved if some agreement was not reached by April 16. Troiano responded in his own letter noting the cost to the city for maintaing the beach and other expenses.
Siciliano said now that 2014 has been settled, the authority and municipalities can review each event and its costs, and come up with a long-term arrangment to relieve taxpayers of the burden.
“We’re going to give the detailed costs of every single event,” Troiano said.
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