Budget cuts won't affect West Dundee festivals
Even though West Dundee officials are trimming their expenses after losing more than $300,000 to the closing of the Best Buy store, the budget knife will not cut the annual Heritage Fest and the Dickens in Dundee Festival.
Heritage Fest is scheduled to go on as usual in September, as will the Dickens festival in December, said Village Manager Joseph Cavallaro.
"Both festivals are not moneymakers or money losers," Cavallaro said. "We break even on them. They give residents opportunities to enjoy local entertainment at a minimal cost."
There are no plans to begin an admission fee to the three-day Heritage Fest when it starts Sept. 14. As with other years, its musical entertainment, access to food vendors and children's attractions will be free.
West Dundee officials, sponsors of the event, plan to spend $50,000 this year on Heritage Fest. Also, they plan to spend $5,000 on their other festival, the two-day Dickens in Dundee party.
The loss of the festivals would leave Dundee Township without annual regional celebrations.
"People have less money these days to spend on discretionary entertainment," Cavallaro said. "Both of them are put on for nominal costs."
Heritage Fest includes a fireworks display, antique show, car show, craft show and community breakfast. Dickens in Dundee includes holiday craft making events, caroling and a holiday tree decorating contest.
Both have parades and wide-range popularity.
West Dundee trustees have cut other areas of the budget to cover the loss of $350,000 in sales tax revenue when the Route 72 Best Buy store closed last month. They changed health insurance carriers for their employees to save $50,000.
Also, they cut the number of village board meetings from three to two a month, eliminated the vacant position of community service officer in their police department, reduced the hours some of their part-time employees and reduced the part-time staff hours at their second public safety building.
The total of those savings are more than $150,000.
"No jobs have been lost," Cavallaro said. "We'll still maintain the same level of services our residents expect."
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