Fall festival stage contract causes stir

An agenda item that normally takes a few minutes to consider and approve caused a bit of consternation among town officials on Tuesday.

With the annual Pahrump Fall Festival two months away, board members discussed awarding the festival’s stage contract to Bogus Productions.

Though the town has used the production company for the past four years, two board members had strong objections to several clauses contained within a proposed agreement.

Town Board Vice Chair Bill Dolan and Amy Riches both took umbrage to the fact that the town would be responsible for expenses of theft or physical damage to the contractor’s equipment during the three-day event.

The contract’s rental terms state the expected costs amount to $10,700 from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28.

Dolan, who along with Riches voted against the item, said he believes the town should not agree to pay for damages or theft, especially if it was at the hands of another individual.

“What if their people damaged something? I don’t agree with that and that needs to be changed. If they are using a speaker that’s 10 years old and one of them cranks it up too loudly and blows it out, it says we have to buy them a brand new one,” he said.

Dolan spoke about another clause in the contract that relates to possible litigation between the town and the production company.

“If Bogus were to sue us and they lose, according to this, we still have to pay their attorneys. I don’t think so and I don’t like that at all. If damage or injury is from one of their employees, why should we be held responsible? The only way I will approve this contract going through is if we see changes.” he said.

Buildings and Grounds Manager Matt Luis tried to ease Dolan’s concerns.

Luis told the board that Bogus Productions is a well-respected company with an impeccable reputation.

“All of their equipment is top notch. I can’t tell the date of their speakers, but they all look like they are in excellent condition. As far as a group blowing out the sound system, that’s what technicians are for. They control all of their sound and lighting. It’s not like the groups we are bringing in can go in there and crank it up and go. It’s a very controlled atmosphere,” he said.

The timing of the contract agreement was yet another important issue.

Town Manager Susan Holecheck noted that the event is approaching quickly, thus a decision should be made as soon as possible.

“This contract has been accepted in its current form for four years. If you would give Matt and I time, we will sit down and negotiate with Bogus but I will tell you it’s going to take some negotiating because I’m sure they will say ‘wait a minute, for four years you’ve never said anything, now all of a sudden, it’s not right,’” she said.

Following further discussion board members eventually voted 3-2 to pass the item with the stipulation that the contract needs a complete overhaul.

Dolan and Riches both voted no.

In other town business, board members also agreed to pull an agenda item relating to waiving user fees for July’s Liberty Festival to revisit at a later date.