No moves after Mummer money meeting

December 16, 2008 8:35:24 PM PST
The city of Philadelphia says Thursday is the deadline to determine whether the Mummers will march on New Year's Day. City officials have suggested cutting the parade down to 6 and 1/2 hours without changing the parade route. However, after a closed-door meeting Tuesday night, there is still no resolution on the issue of money.

After being forced to close libraries, pools, fire engines and cut jobs the city's offer to the Mummers is firm at $300,000, a third of last years funding.

What money there is will be used towards the police, EMS and other city personnel who are needed for the parade to operate safely. Any other unforeseen costs that incur because of the parade, the Mummers themselves will have to pay for.

The city estimates that cost may fall around $50,000.

"We want the detail on what's being spent," said Mummers' attorney George Badye. "Why are you using that many people, how can it cost this much?"

"It may be that they disagree with the number of police that are needed to staff that parade, but that's what the city does, its what the police department does, and what we won't do is compromise the safety of the people so it will cost a little less," said Doug Oliver, spokesman for Mayor Nutter. "The cost is the cost."

The Mummers say the city's cuts come too late and they have little more than two weeks to come up with sponsors.

"You have to be careful what you spend your money on. At this point they have to really consider that they don't have money," Oliver said.

So the big question now: What will the parade look like or as some wonder, will there be a parade at all?

Perhaps there will be more answers Wednesday, after yet another meeting planned for 12:30 p.m.

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