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Council to vote on waiving more SXSW fees

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 by Eva Ruth Moravec

Austin City Council on Thursday will vote on whether to waive another $400,000 in fees for South by Southwest and allocate $1.5 million from the city’s budget to cover overtime for Austin Police Department to staff the festival. In December, Council waived $309,310 in festival fees but didn’t include APD’s costs, Deputy Chief Financial Officer Ed Van Eenoo told the Austin Monitor. In previous years, APD has used on-duty officers to staff the nine-day festival and other events in the “spring festival season,” said APD Assistant Chief Chris McIlvain in a telephone interview. This year, officers will be paid overtime to cover the 10,000 man hours needed, McIlvain said, allowing officers already scheduled to be on duty to stay on their regular assignments. “It’s extremely arduous, and it was very difficult on all personnel,” he said. McIlvain said it wasn’t possible to ask for the cash in the department’s budget, since the change had to be approved first by the Austin Police Association membership. SXSW will take place March 11-21.

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