La Crosse (WEAU) - Oktoberfest spokesperson Tina Severson says the City of La Crosse didn’t give them a lot of time to come up with 18 thousand dollars for parade fees.
“Right now were assessing the 18 thousand dollar fee from the Police Department in la Crosse. We need to match those funds, or we will not have the parades," said Severson.
City council president Audrey Kader says that the 18 thousand dollars doesn’t come close to what the actual costs are for policing the parades.
“They’re charging for 42 officers on duty, even though there will be 66 actually working the parade. For the 2011 Oktoberfest weekend it was over 151 thousand dollars that directly cost the city," said Kader.
Both Kader and the Mayor say they don’t want to see the parades cancled, but that the city has a right to be charging for their expenses.
“It's necessary to charge back and legitimate to charge back. We have to protect the interest of the tax paying citizens," said Kader.
“I hope that before any decision is made there can be a line of communication," said Mayor Harter.
The Maple Leaf parade has been going on for 51 years. It brings in thousands of spectators and will be sorely missed if it doesn’t happen this year.
“If they don’t have the parades it’ll make a big difference. That was the beginning and the end, the Maple Leaf parade and the Torchlight parade," said Deanna Jordan, a previous Oktoberfest parade spectator.
“If there is no parade then people don’t get a feel of what Oktoberfest really is about," said Christina Brugger a previous parade spectator.