MONTPELIER — The Bean Days committee is exploring ways to reinvigorate the festival, including moving all events to Municipal Park, and Montpelier Council gave its conditional support at its regular meeting Monday.
Bean Days Committee co-chair Jeanette Hull told council that discussions have centered on moving all Bean Days events to Municipal Park next year, though she cautioned that the idea is only in the discussion phase and nothing has been finalized.
Hull said the committee has received backing on the idea from the Montpelier Park Board and sought a similar vote of confidence from council on Monday.
Hull noted that moving all events, including all children’s activities, the beer tent and the hot air balloons, to the park could solve some logistical and weather-related challenges that are present from holding the festival at multiple venues, including the fairgrounds, the park and downtown.
“We want to invigorate the festival ... one option is to move it from the fairgrounds on Saturday to (Municipal) Park. We’re still studying how we can do that,” Hull said.
She added the committee is considering ways to make the festival work without an entry fee but still offer all the events that festival-goers enjoy, including band(s), a bounce house, face painting and the Princesses and American Heroes event, plus the beer tent and laser show.
The laser show, she predicted, could be “phenomenal” at the park.
Hull said there have been no issues with the beer tent in previous years and noted the committee and park board are sensitive to keeping the beer tent away from children’s events if the festival moves to the park.
Hull noted the volleyball and three-on-three basketball events that were held at the park as a part of the festival were very successful last year, and the idea is to build on that.
“(The park) is one possible path,” Hull said, adding that all discussions are very preliminary. She also said the committee is dedicated and receives a large assist from the village, but could use more volunteers to help put on the event.
Council on Monday unanimously approved a pair of motions — to support the move to the park, and to support the beer tent as part of the festivities, conditional on the committee receiving approval from the park board and police department, addressing any possible legal issues and giving council regular updates.
In other action Monday:
• Council revived a discussion from late August and approved a $7,100 contract for Clemans, Nelson & Associates Inc., to provide a final draft of the village employee handbook. Council declined to enter into a separate retainer agreement with the Dublin, Ohio-based management and human resources consultant, saying they didn’t feel it was financially prudent or necessary.
Work on updating the employee handbook was begun begun by a council committee, and Clemans, Nelson is expected to complete the draft, which can still be tweaked and finalized by council. Mayor Steve Yagelski said an update to the handbook was needed and thanked the committee for its input. He said he hoped the draft could be completed within six months.
• Upon request by Fiscal Officer Nicki Uribes, approved a pair of then-and-now payments: to Software Solutions Inc., in the amount of $10,500 for work on the village’s employee digital timecard portal; and to Upward Digital Marketing, in the amount of $1,798.88 for cameras in Municipal Park. A then-and-now payment is a mechanism to pay invoices that are received prior to issuing a purchase order.
• Uribes also delivered an income tax update, noting that collections are up 6.1 percent this year over the same point last year.
• Held a closed, executive session to discuss personnel/compensation and employment of a public official, per Ohio Revised Code Section 121.22(G)(1). No action was taken after council returned to open session.