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Kure Beach Planning Triathlon For Summer 2013

The Town of Kure Beach voted in 2012 not to permit the Kure Beach Double Sprint Triathlon to hold an event in 2013 due to an outstanding $240 unpaid balance for Town fees associated with the event. Now the Town's fire department and a non-profit are planning their own similar event.

Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The Kure Beach Town Council voted in August 2012 to require the organizers of the annual Kure Beach Triathlon to pay an outstanding balance to the Town as well as discuss event related fees prior to permitting the 2013 event. The organizers had to pay the remaining $240 owed to the Town by August 31. That payment never came and on September 18, the Council voted not to permit an event in 2013.
The 2012 event was held on June 2 marking the 15th year holding the event in Kure Beach. In July the Council voted to send another invoice to the event organizers asking them to pay the remaining $240 balance to the Town for services such as police, fire and public works. The event organizers took issue with several items on the original bill.
Bill Scott - of Setup Events - wrote to event participants in an email, "We’re trying to salvage the Kure Beach Double Sprint Triathlon. This is an iconic event in the Inside-Out Sports NCTS. In 2012 we held the race for the sixteenth consecutive year. Kure Beach was the very first triathlon in the U.S. to offer up the unusual format; swim, run, bike, run, swim.  The race has capped out at 500 participants for the past ten years (we only had 480 in 2012)."
He explained, " This year, when all the planning was said and done, and with only two weeks to go before race day, we received an invoice from the town of Kure Beach for more than twice the amount of what we are normally charged for their services (park rental, police support, etc).  In reviewing the invoice it was very clear that there were some trumped up charges included. During the July Town Council meeting, I went before Council to dispute these charges and to let them know that they were out of line with anything we have paid in the past and also much higher than fees we pay in other communities in which we produce races."
He asked people in his letter to email the Town showing support for the event.
The Town received some 72 emails expressing support.
In a response to those emails the Town issued a statement, "The total fees that the Town of Kure Beach charged for this year's triathlon were $1,860.00. Mr. Scott [The event organizer] has not paid $240 of that bill. At the July Town Council meeting, Mr. Scott discussed with the Council his position that the Town was charging excessive fees for his event.
He was directed to put in his application for next year's event, so that the Council could work with him on reaching agreement to prevent this issue from occurring again.
Additionally, Council directed staff to re-invoice Set Up Events for the remaining $240. In 2010, the Town charged $2,250 for the event and in 2011, the Town charged $2,400."
The Council voted unanimously.
Scott previously argued over fees charged for items like police officer hours and vehicles, fire fighter hours, tent inspection fees and others. The Council sets event fees at budget time for all events wishing to be held in Kure Beach.
Scott said, "I'm going back to the original $3,900 invoice that was changed down to $1,860 of which $240 was disputed." He said the original $3,900 invoice was, "Explained to you folks as a simple accounting error and our contention is it was not a simple accounting error. Our contention is it was intentional."
Scott said if he had not caught the error, the Town would have cashed the check and, "I guarantee you we would not have gotten a credit because of a simple accounting error being found."
The Council took issue with that accusation.
At the Council's January regular meeting Councilman David Heglar said two non-profit groups are talking about putting together their own triathlon sometime this summer.
He said Ed Kennedy of the Town's Lifeguard Program is working on a proposal with the non-profit Step
Up for Soldiers - An All Volunteer Group Providing Renovations, Recreation, and Recognition for Recently Disabled Veterans.
The event is tentatively set for June but no date had been set prior to the meeting.
Heglar said a proposal could be brought back to the Council in February showing a plan for the event.
He asked if the Council should contact Set Up Events in an effort to avoid scheduling conflicts should Mr. Scott decide to hold an event elsewhere in the area.
The Council voted unanimously to give the Volunteer Fire Department and Step Up For Soldiers to begin planning a triathlon-like event in the June timeframe and direct the Town Clerk to send a letter to Mr. Scott asking for dates in June that he would prefer the Town not hold an event to avoid scheduling conflicts.