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Wallingford 350th receives infusion of town cash

Wallingford 350th receives infusion of town cash

WALLINGFORD — The Town Council recently approved a transfer of nearly $27,000 to the town’s 350th Jubilee Committee.

The cash is slated for deposits and down payments on items and services for the eight-day celebration of the town’s founding, planned for June. The committee hopes to recoup the money from sponsorships and other revenue, officials said.

The council also transferred $10,000 in donations toward the gala ball and dinner event. Both votes were unanimous.

Jubilee Committee co-chairs Christine Mansfield and Bob Devaney updated the council Tuesday night.

Mansfield said the parade slated to kick off the celebration is covered under a separate line item, and that none of the money advanced Tuesday would be used for it.

Several other events don’t require advanced financial support, including the fireworks display and senior day and youth day activities. The town is paying for police, fire and public works staffing.

The total amount transferred — $26,297.50 — breaks down to $800 for signs and tent rentals for International Night, $15,000 for licensing and costumes for the production of “1776,” $1,000 for the interfaith service on Faith Day, $2,500 for down payments on entertainment for the block dance, $2,000 for deposits and expenses for the gala ball, $600 for a deposit for Women’s Day events, and $4,397 for production of a book on Wallingford history.

No revenue is expected before the celebration, which made asking for an advance from the town a necessity, Mansfield said.

“We have expenses that have to be paid in the next six weeks,” she said.

The committee is counting on donations, sponsorships and proceeds from book sales, ticket sales for the ball and sales from merchandise to break even, she said, because as a town committee, they can’t generate a profit.

She added that the number of anticipated attendees would bring economic opportunity to town.

“We’re hearing that there are room blocks already being exhausted at hotels,” she said. “We’ve got hundreds of descendent families already planning reunions.”

Councilor Craig Fishbein asked about the committee’s budget. Mansfield was unable to produce the latest revenues and expenses that evening, but said that there’s only $6,531 not allocated already.

Councilor Gina Morgenstein asked about the $11,060 that the Town Council gave the committee in September to purchase 350th promotional hats and shirts to sell at Celebrate Wallingford, held the first weekend of October.

Mansfield said they sold about $6,500 in merchandise, and the rest is available for sale at HUBCAP, a non-profit business center at 128 Center St.

Devaney said that sales through HUBCAP have brought the total revenue from those items up to around $7,000.
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