Dunkirk: Summer festivals coming at a cost

Maybe it is time for Dunkirk to take on the slogan of “the city of good neighbors.”

For years, its residents have flocked to the pier on Thursday nights and taken part in a number of city festivals during the summer months. If those residents were there only with the intention of taking in a festival or concert, they were under the impression it was being offered for free.

That, apparently, is not correct.

Since 2009, the city festivals have not paid for themselves. Each of those years, the festivals have run a deficit. All told, the losses on the festivals over those five years are $115,278.

So, who exactly is paying for these “free” festivals? Well, it is not those coming from out of town or outside the county. They do not pay taxes.

Those then making up the deficit must be – you guessed it – city property owners. Which leads us to one more question: If the festivals are not self-supporting, then should they be continued?

We have a Dunkirk Local Development Corp. that looks dysfunctional. We have city businesses being blamed for bad Housing and Urban Development grants. Now, residents know the festivals really are not free unless you are from outside Dunkirk.

Government was not designed to promote fun and music. It was designed for law, order and some basic services.

Festivals do not fall under any of these guidelines.