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City to consider waiver for concert fee HOOKUPS AT FAIRGROUNDS: DPAO hopes to be spared cost; entertainer sought to replace George Jones

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The Disabled Persons Action Organization should know tonight whether the city of Watertown will waive a $675.85 fee for the summer concert season at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

The City Council is expected to vote on waiving the new fee for electrical and sewer hookups to trailers that will be used as entertainer dressing rooms. DPAO officials have said they learned about the new fee April 19, the day before tickets went on sale for the summer concert season.

On April 23, Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Erin E. Gardner agreed to recommend exempting the fee after meeting with the DPAO.

Councilwoman Teresa R. Macaluso said Friday that she believes council members will go along with the waiver because the fee was not presented to DPAO until just a few weeks before the concert season was to begin.

“It looks like something they didn’t know about,” Ms. Macaluso said.

Joseph L. Rich, vice president of the DPAO’s board, said he looks forward to having a good working relationship with the Parks Department.

“We’re just grateful they’re considering our request,” he said.

He said he hopes that after the concert season ends, his organization and the city will meet to discuss the fee structure for next year.

At first, DPAO officials misunderstood that the fee was going to be as much as $2,575.

The supposed $2,575 fee and other escalating charges upset DPAO officials so much that they considered looking for other venues to move the concerts from the fairgrounds.

In recent years, DPAO has expressed concerns about rising fees for food concessions, vehicle parking, space for keeping the trailers on site and other items.

Mr. Rich said DPAO was hoping to hear from another entertainer for the fairgrounds series to replace the George Jones farewell tour concert Aug. 3. The country star died April 26.

The summer concert season now consists of Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild animal show May 25, country star Rodney Atkins on June 23 and KC and the Sunshine Band/the Village People on Aug. 9.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. today in the third-floor council chambers at City Hall, 245 Washington St.

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