Floyd County’s Economic Development Authority Tuesday night will deal with a Board of Supervisors’ instruction to charge FloydFest for use of the Commerce Park for parking last July and several speakers are expected to talk about the issue at the Board of Supervisors meeting in an adjoining room.
The EDA meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the County Administration Offices on Oxford Street in Floyd and Supervisors begin their second monthly meeting in an adjoining room at 7 p.m. FloydFest is on the EDA agenda and officials from the event will be at the meeting to speak on the matter.
When hard rains forced the event to close lots near the festival, parking was moved to the high school and elementary school in Floyd and the Dreaming Creek factory lot at the Commerce Center when other lots filled. Dreaming Creek and the school system did not charge for use of their lots and EDA controls the other lots at the Commerce Center.
After being told by county attorney Jim Cornwell at a supervisors meeting earlier this month that the county could not charge for parking without an ordinance in place and could not charge for parking anyway at the Commerce Center because the EDA owns that property, Clinger instructed County Administrator Dan Campbell to tell the EDA to consider a charge.
After the meeting, in response to questions about the request, Clinger said the board could “remember” how the EDA responds when it comes to the board at budget time.
EDA chairman Jack Russell could walk next door and give the EDA’s answer to the Supervisors but FloydFest is not on the agenda that was distributed to Supervisors and the media late last week. They can amend the agenda to receive a report from Russell if they want and several Floyd County business owners and residents say they plan to speak at the Supervisors’ meeting to express their opposition to an attempt to extract more money from the festival, which paid the school board more than $17,000 for the use of school buses and drivers. The school system reported a $9,000 profit on the fee.
The issue has become a hot topic over breakfast at Blue Ridge Restaurant and other gathering places in the county. Supervisor Chairman Case Clinger initially said he had received about 15 calls from constituents supporting his desire to impose parking fees.
A number of county residents now say they have called Clinger to express their opposition to his position on the matter. Some, in posts on Facebook and in comments posted on blogs, are also calling for a boycott of his Pizza Inn restaurant.
Oddfellas Cantina co-owner Kerry Underwood, who spoke in favor of FloydFest at the August supervisors meeting and posted on Facebook about Clinger’s insistence on imposing a parking charge, says he got a visit from Clinger recently. Underwood and others are planning to be at both the EDA meeting and to speak at the Supervisors meeting Tuesday evening.