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Plymouth Approves 2013 Ice Festival as For-Profit Event

City urges promoter to turn over financial records from 2012 event, OKs plans for 2013 festival as for-profit event.

The Plymouth City Commission on Monday ensured that the 2013 Plymouth Ice Festival will continue as planned from Jan. 18-20, 2013, in Kellogg Park, but the festival no longer will be a nonprofit event.

The city voted to approve permits for the event submitted by promoter Sam Walton of Signature Professional Group, which specify the event now is a privately run festival. 

While Walton handled promotion for the 2012 Ice Festival, the event technically was managed by the Plymouth International Ice Festival Board of Directors, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that included Walton and city officials.

Commissioner Ron Loiselle expressed concern, however, that Walton still had unfinished business from the 2012 festival.

Loiselle attempted to amend the approval to stipulate that, if approved, Walton must turn over financial records from the 2012 event to the nonprofit group's CPA, James Van Horn by Dec. 14, as well as pay the accounting tax preparation bill from 2012 and cover any late fees assessed by the Internal Revenue Service for late filings of tax forms this year or face withdrawal of his permits.

These measures, Loiselle argued, would ensure the nonprofit group could disband without having any remaining obligations. 

Loiselle's proposed amendments failed to gain support from the City Commission, however, as did Commissioner Diane Bogenrieder's suggestion to table the approval of the festival permits for two weeks, giving Walton time to complete his outstanding obligations.

Commissioner Meg Dooley argued that approval of the event should be taken on the face of its application and not have any conditions.

The City Commission ultimately agreed, voting unanimously to approve the permits.

Bogenrieder issued a sterm warning, however, for Walton to take care of his obligations.

"If it comes back that you didn’t pay something, I will go out there and walk around with a sign saying this is wrong," she said. 

Walton said being a private, for-profit event will allow the Ice Festival to continue growing and said he is looking forward to a "bigger and better" event in 2013.

"I want to make everyone proud," Walton said. "This is my town, this is our event."

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