Feedback: Fees Might Drive DPAO Concerts Out Of Watertown

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For nearly 40 years the Disabled Person's Action Organization has been putting on summer concerts in Watertown.

But that may not be the case for long.

"Next season we may have to look at another location for our shows," said Joe Rich of the DPAO.

That's because the city informed DPAO it will charge a fee for water and sewer hookup for mobile homes used as dressing rooms.

That’s $640 per concert; close to $2,500 for the season

The city never charged DPAO the fee before.

"I can't speak as to why it wasn't done in the past. I'm here now and part of my job is to charge the charges that I'm supposed to charge," said  Erin Gardner of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

But DPAO Board Vice President Joe Rich says he's not just upset about the fee, he's upset about the timing.

His organization found out about it a day before tickets go on sale.

"If it was something they wanted us to pay, why didn't they tell us this at the beginning of the season," asked Rich.

But city officials say it's all apart of the process.

"They don't have a signed contract yet and part of what my email today was to give them a head's up that these are going to be the fees," said Gardner.

That’s an unsatisfying response for Rich.

"I have that deep suspicion they don't want us to do our concerts there and I think the business community could very well feel differently about that," said Rich.

Rich hopes those businesses voice their support to officials to lighten up on fees to help keep the music, the crowds and the tradition in Watertown.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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