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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

For a fun time, head on down to Kenneth City's gazebo -- or its council meetings

KENNETH CITY -- The hot item on the agenda at a special council meeting Thursday wasn't the first-time appointment of a citizens budget advisory committee but the amount Kenneth City would charge businesses to rent the gazebo in the park next to Town Hall.

The gazebo has been the site of some weddings and concerts, but until recently no business ever contemplated holding an event there. Now, one wants to hold a makeup and hair affair in the park. But with no precedent, Wanda Dudley needed guidance from other council members. One audience member chimed in, "So, it's your fault" the topic came up.

Dudley: "Yes, it's my fault. ... Down the line, we can readdress it if things start hopping in the gazebo."

Being Kenneth City, the audience comments didn't stop there, although they were pretty much free of the vitriol that has characterized council-audience exchanges in the past year.

One concern was parking. There just isn't much of it and the worry was having a lot of people cross 54th Avenue N if they parked at nearby businesses. 

Dudley pointed out that she had recently attended an event at the Orange Blossom in St. Petersburg and had to cross Fourth Street N to get there. Resident Al Hvratin reminded her that there is a light at the corner near the Orange Blossom, but Dudley responded, "I didn't cross there."

Another man didn't see the point of a makeup and hair event: "It's just not a happening thing," to which a female member of the audience responded: "Speak for yourself, sir."

Finally, the council decided the cost for renting the gazebo would remain at $35 for residents but would go up to $50 for nonresidents and businesses. A $20 deposit would be required but will be refunded if the partygoers clean up after themselves. But there is no cooking on site (coolers with prepared food and drink are okay) and no alcohol.

"You aren't going to get anyone to come," protested one audience member who got up and walked out. As he left, he said, "This is a travesty."

As audience members left, one man said, "This is fun. I should have moved to Kenneth City a long time ago."

Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:54am]


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