BROOKSVILLE — The City Council voted Monday to help revive the once-vaunted Flatlanders Challenge road race next month by granting its organizers $940.50 worth of fee and permit waivers and other considerations.
But the gesture came with a cautionary tone from some council members, who pointed out that the city's $7,000 budget for special events is limited. In fact, race organizer Jay Pingley's request would have left a $731.73 deficit in the fund.
"We budget for events every year," council member Joe Bernardini said. "My concern is that we're three months into the new (fiscal) year and we're having to dip into our reserves to do this. I don't like that philosophy."
Council member Lara Bradburn agreed, but added that the Flatlanders Challenge stood to become "an important draw for our city."
Pingley told council members that he had hoped to get a grant from Hernando County's Tourist Development Council, but was told he had missed the deadline to apply.
In addition to permitting fees, Pingley's group will get considerations for traffic control, including $810 for overtime police duty and $57 in public works costs.
For years, the Flatlanders Challenge, which originated in 1978, drew hundreds of participants and visitors to Brooksville. Run in both 5K and 10K increments, the race was known as an ultimate runner's challenge. The last one was held in 2007.
Pingley said he hoped the revival of the race, which is set for Feb. 5, will spark new interest among die-hard runners around Central Florida.
Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.