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Tovo concerned about street closures for private events

Monday, August 7, 2017 by Jack Craver

Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo raised concerns during a Thursday City Council meeting over a street closure for White Linen Night, an annual event and fundraiser organized by the Second Street District. Tickets to the event, which was held on Saturday, cost $50. The proceeds of the event always benefit one local nonprofit; this year the Austin Food & Wine Alliance was the beneficiary. The fact that the city was closing down Second Street for a private event rubbed Tovo the wrong way. Although she opted not to oppose the permit, since the event was only two days away, she urged her colleagues to consider treating private events requesting street closures differently than ones that were open to the public. “We need to do some better balancing of public and community benefits versus private ones,” she said, suggesting that the city adjust fees for special events based on how much they are charging for entry. Council Member Ellen Troxclair, however, pointed out that the city already collects 4.5 percent of the private ticket sales revenue, meaning that it already does make more money off high-priced events.

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