For the first time since 2019, the concession stand might operate at Gyro Park in Trail this year. However, city council has yet to decide whether to provide a higher subsidy that would allow that to happen.
Career Development Services operated the stand from 2001 to 2019 but was unable to do so in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID. Although restrictions loosened last year, the organization was unable to sign a contract due to staffing shortages. The city put out a general call for someone to operate it but received no offers.
According to a memo to city council, last month City of Trail staffed asked the organization if they would be willing to run the concession this year. They said yes, but asked for the operating subsidy.
From 2016 to 2019, the city provided a $20,000 grant to offset operating costs and waived a 20 per cent sales commission. Career Development Services is asking for $30,000 this time due to increases in the minimum wage and increases to employment-related costs.
The minimum wage increase alone is expected to increase operating costs by $2,500, the memo noted. There have also been increases to food and supply costs.
The concession is normally open for special events in May and September; from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays in June, plus from 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays for Music in the Park; and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week in July and August.
The memo said if the grant is not provided, Career Development Services probably won’t take the concession on. In that case, the city could advertise for another vendor, but there is no guarantee one would be found.
City staff recommended providing the requested grant, but council had some questions, so a decision is expected later this month.