Aldermen eye sponsorship policy to boost revenues

Park sponsorships proposal first came up 2 years ago.

By EVAN YOUNG

Crestwood aldermen were scheduled this week to consider a sponsorship policy for city parks as a way to boost revenues.

The policy was set to be presented to the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.

Given the current economy, city officials believe “the need to find alternative and additional funding sources to offset the cost of providing programs and services is more important than ever,” Recreation Manager Todd Stover wrote in a recent memo to City Administrator Jim Eckrich.

“With this in mind, staff has been, and will be, actively seeking sponsorships, donations and other funding and believes that having a formal policy will minimize any problems or misunderstanding regarding future sponsorships,” Stover stated.

The idea for city park sponsorships originally came up two years ago when a Revenue Committee of residents met to brainstorm new ways Crestwood could make money.

Aldermen voted in November 2008 to establish the committee shortly before approving a 2009 budget that authorized the use of more than $600,000 in reserves to balance it.

The committee, chaired by Ward 2 Alderman Chris Pickel, presented the board in February 2009 with 10 suggestions for bolstering revenue. Aldermen voted to direct Eckrich to evaluate the impact of the recommendations.

The purpose of the sponsorship policy, as proposed, is to “safeguard the city’s values, image, assets and interests while increasing the opportunities for revenue generation.”

The policy would apply to:

• Program and special event sponsorship.

• Naming or renaming of city property, buildings and structures.

• Paid advertising on city property, at city events and in city publications.

• Preferred supplier status.

As proposed, sponsors and advertisers will be able to do business with the city on the following conditions:

• The city will maintain control over the planning and delivery of sponsorship activities.

• Agreements do not in any way invoke future consideration, influence, or be perceived to influence the day-to-day business of the city.

• The relationship must not cause a city employee to receive any product, service or assets for personal gain or use.

• Advertising devices must not impact the quality and integrity of the city’s properties, buildings or streetscape and must provide no added risks to safety.

• The advertisement of a product or service does not act as the city’s endorsement of any one product or service over another.

• The sponsorship and advertising opportunity should be appropriate to the target audience.

The proposed policy states the city will not accept sponsorships from businesses that sell tobacco or pornography or whose advertising conveys a religious message; promotes alcohol or other addictive substances at venues geared toward children; is demeaning toward a person or group or is likely to cause widespread offense.

However, the proposed policy states the city can “at its discretion, bring any proposals to the Board of Aldermen for its approval even if they do not meet the guidelines of this policy.”

“The Board of Aldermen may also consider any proposal or direct staff to pursue any opportunities for sponsorship and advertising that does not strictly adhere to this policy,” according to the document.