LA CROSSE (WEAU) - Oktoberfest and the La Crosse Police Department will be moving forward with all 3 parades after coming to an agreement for the 2012 festival.
La Crosse police were originally asking for 18 thousand dollars to police the parade. It’s now been reduced to 10-thousand, and, a community partner has stepped forward to help with the fees.
A 15 thousand dollar check from Altra Federal Credit Union means Oktoberfest will be able to pay the 10 thousand dollar policing fee, and have money to spend elsewhere.
“We’re so excited to present this check.Right now it is a fixed 15 thousand for 3 years,” said CEO of Altra Federal Credit Union Jack Peplinski.
Oktoberfest still had to make a lot of cuts to the festival this year. They plan on canceling all non public events and decreasing their advertising/PR expenses.
“It was a lot of internal cuts. We cut 12,000 out of our budget,” said Oktoberfest Spokesperson Tina Severson.
Both the La Crosse PD and Oktoberfest say the negotiations went smoothly after they were able to sit down and talk about how to reduce the fees.
Oktoberfest will have to provide their own paid security and volunteers to man the parades. The money saved will make up the difference for less police officers on the parade route.
“We’re looking to increase our volunteers manning certain intersections along the parade route. We’re also partnering with the town of Cambells Emergency Department,” said Severson.
Police say that volunteers will be given the easy jobs like manning the barricades while high traffic volume areas will still be manned by the La Crosse PD.
“With a large number of people we still have to have a lot of law enforcement present,” said Assistant Chief of Police Rob Abraham.
This year only the La Crosse PD is charging Oktoberfest, but it is predicted next year more city departments will be charging for their services
“In the upcoming years Public Works will charge not only Oktoberfest, but all other parades as well,” said La Crosse Mayor, Matt Harter.
Oktoberfest is hoping to prepare for next year’s fees by looking for more sponsors early on.