City Council wary of special event funding choice

The amount of money suggested by a city committee for funding a new Grand Forks event raised eyebrows Wednesday at a City Council committee meeting.

The event, TEDx Grand Forks scheduled for Feb. 7, is part of a national “Technology, Entertainment, Design” movement that features events organized independently by cities.

Funding to the tune of $9,566 was suggested by the city’s Special Events Committee — the third highest amount behind the Uff Da Mud Run and the Wild Hog Half Marathon.

A description of TEDx’s provided to the council’s finance committee made some council members questioned whether or not the event met the funding requirements.

To receive funding, events must (1) promote Grand Forks as an entertainment, recreation, and tourism center and (2) attract visitors from outside of the community/region.

Andrea Laraway, community betterment specialist with the urban development department, told the committee new and “home-grown” events are given priority.

Council president Hal Gershman, who represented the council on the events committee, added well-established events were going to be weaned off city money over the next five years. He did say he disagreed with the amount of money selected by the committee.

The Grand Forks version of this event has been spearheaded by council member Tyrone Grandstrand and his wife, Beca, a development official at the Empire Arts Center. The event is scheduled for Feb.7 at the Empire.

Grandstrand also was a council representative on the events commitee.

The money set aside for special events, totaling $118,554 this year, is collected from sales tax.

Council member Doug Christensen said he felt the event would be more appropriate for funding from the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation.

Christensen made a motion to recommend approving all other event funding except TEDx’s. The event’s funding will be discussed by the full council at its Monday meeting.

One thought on “City Council wary of special event funding choice

  1. TED events are a big draw…for both press and the general public. And they help define a community as a leader–technologically and creatively…a place Grand Forks wants to be.

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