Letters to the Editor
Funding source for FOPP lineup merits clarification
Doug Pullen's Sept. 6 letter to the editor, "City should fund infrastructure," is ambiguous when referring to the free entertainment the city of Liberty Lake contributes to with city tax funds. He seems to be under the impression that the city utility tax funds the summer entertainment at Pavillion Park. Our letter is to clarify how some of the free-to-the-public entertainment is paid for.
The movies are funded by Greenstone Homes and Neighborhoods, and the concerts and stage production are fully funded by Friends of Pavillion Park. Mr. Pullen, none of your utility tax money is going to these events. The annual Friends of Pavillion Park Holiday Ball is the chief fundraiser for the concerts as well as other events at the park and for scholarships given out to worthy Liberty Lake students every year. Except for the upkeep of Pavillion Park, the city does not use the utility tax to support any of these worthwhile endeavors.
The free events put on by Greenstone and FOPP allow the Kiwanis Club of Liberty Lake to raise, through food sales, thousands of dollars each year that are funneled right back into the community.
So, Mr. Pullen, you can rest easy. Your utility tax money is safe and is being used by the city in a constructive way that benefits our fine city. Those events that the city does use tax funds to provide entertainment to city residents and visitors help to create a sense of community, one of the major reasons we choose to live here.
Bob and Sue Schneidmiller
Liberty Lake FOPP covers ‘associated costs'
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Doug Pullen's Sept. 6 letter, "City should fund infrastructure." Mr. Pullen suggests city tax revenues subsidize "associated costs" of these "diverse free entertainment" events. Most of those events are sponsored by Friends of Pavillion Park, an organization which I have had the pleasure and honor to be a part of for the last several years as treasurer.
While I cannot speak for the city budget and how tax revenues are spent, I will gladly open the books for the Friends of Pavillion Park income and expenses. We raise most of our money through our only fundraiser, the Holiday Ball, and the associated auction. We have several generous financial sponsors in our community, including Greenstone Homes. We apply for and are granted some monies from the Tourism Promotion Fund, which is a fund generated by hotel and motel lodging taxes and overseen by its own board. We do not receive money directly from the city of Liberty Lake's utility tax revenues.
A dedicated group of volunteers works to raise these monies and book these events, such as the concerts, the Shakespeare group and the movies in the park. FOPP pays all the associated expenses for these events - the performers, advertising, the sound and lights, the shuttle, the lodging for the performers, you name it. The city makes sure the park is available and ready as they do for any organization that uses the park. Kiwanis sells refreshments, and SCOPE volunteers help with traffic. Exactly what "associated costs" is the city covering, Mr. Pullen? Maybe the added revenues from hotels and restaurants paid for by those "outsiders"?
These events make Liberty Lake a unique and desirable community. The FOPP volunteers put a lot of time and effort into keeping these events going. Watching a little boy dancing to the Symphony makes every hour we volunteer worth it. Perhaps Mr. Pullen would like to attend our next board meeting - we are always looking for creative volunteers!