BY GEOFF FOX
Town officials have come to a decision on the purchase of an inflatable movie screen for the parks board after two months of discussions.
Officials voted 3 to 1 in favor of the screen during a special town meeting last Wednesday evening. Councilman Tim Smith was the lone vote against the screen.
The cost of the screen is $16,195, however the cost to the town is $11,195 as the Rec Board already has $5,000 in their account. The rest of the money would come from donations and sponsorships.
The screen would be owned by the town and administered solely by the Parks and Recreation Board.
With that size of price tag, the package comes with a 30-foot by 17-foot air screen and a same sized frame, speakers, projector, other set up equipment, cases, and a 3-year warranty.
While it was approved, town officials carried on the discussion with Councilman Smith speaking against the purchase.
He pointed to other projects the town has going on, such as the poles in Widmeyer Park that will line Park Road with veteran banners and lights.
The town has committed $25,000 towards that project with the county committing $10,000. That leaves the project $15,000 short.
Councilman Smith also looked at issues with a pump and substation that need repairs. While they are in different budgets, he said the town is still responsible to pay.
Councilman Tim Boyer, who made the original pitch for the screen at a previous meeting and made the motion during the special meeting to purchase the screen, said he had done research on his own time and found out the vendor for the screen is a GSA approved vendor.
The vendor is Outdoor Movies of Rockville, Maryland, and is GSA approved. Because they are GSA approved, the cost fell from $20,000 to $16,000.
Boyer said there have been $9,750 in verbal commitments toward the screen, but there have been no checks handed over yet.
Boyer said he made packets for businesses with different levels ranging from bronze to platinum. Each level has a different form of advertising clip attached.
He added there could be a donation website set up, however, Councilman Smith said it might not work as the Rec Board is a government entity. He urged Boyer to “check on it” and make sure.
The plan right now is to show at least five movies this summer, but the question becomes what is considered a good crowd for those movies.
“Honestly I feel we’ll have several of these that will have a couple hundred people, but if we have fifty people there, I think that’s a success,” Boyer said.
There would be a set day of the week, which Town Manager David Smith gave an example of the third Saturday of each month “to help people plan.”
When asked about a group wanting to use the screen on a day the Rec Board wouldn’t be setting up the screen, Boyer said he’d be looking for groups on the days they are setting up the screen.
Boyer said the seven member Rec Board would have to sit down and decide what they are doing and who they’d be working with to get a better idea of how the screen rentals would work.
Mayor Ralph Salvagno said the rules would have to set out clearly who can and cannot use it.
Either Councilman Leo Murray or Boyer would have to be on hand because they are covered by the town’s insurance policy.