EDC adopts changes to concession contract

By A.C. Hall

The White Settlement Economic Development Corporation held a brief special meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss the Veterans Park concession contract agreement.  This item was tabled at a previous meeting so changes to it could be made.  The special meeting was called so the contract would be in place in time for the City to go out for bids on it in the coming months.  Parks and Recreation Director Rich Tharp presented this item to the EDC.  

“There was a concern about the written notice, or how long the written notice was and how long the contract was for,” Tharp said.

The amended contract also includes an evaluation clause that will see a monthly report about the concession vendor’s performance available to the EDC should they want to view it.

These were items the EDC pinpointed at their August meeting as they looked for ways to curb issues that were being reported in relation to the current concession vendor at Veterans Park.  Some of those issues raised at the August meeting include falling revenues despite increased park attendance, as well as service complaints and complaints that the concession stand is running out of items.

“I believe with the problems that have come up in the last year or two, Rich is on top of it every month,” EDC Executive Director Jim Ryan said.  “He simply had a contract that was unwieldy.  I think this one will give him the opportunity to bring it before the board virtually every month.” Ryan went on to say that the monthly report would give them the chance to see if the vendor was having issues and give the EDC an opportunity to break from the vendor if there is a major problem.

EDC members praised the change from a two year contract down to a one year contract, as well as their ability to get monthly updates on the state of Veteran’s Park concessions.  A motion was made to approve the new contract agreement.  That motion passed unanimously.