Council considers quartet of issuesPublished 11:03am Tuesday, April 2, 2013 Updated 11:06am Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Cost, insurance, safety and security during the planned Project Kirkbride photography shoot at the Regional Treatment Center seemed to be the big items at issue for the Fergus Falls City Council Monday.
Following nearly an hour of discussion, the council unanimously approved a motion for City Administrator Mark Sievert to present a list of issues to Project Kirkbride organizer Christian VanAntwerpen.
The idea behind Project Kirkbride is to preserve the RTC by photographing every square inch of it. The project has yet to receive official approval from the city council.
However, the list of requirements Sievert will present to VanAntwerpen include: The project needs to provide insurance covering all photographers, a list of names for all the people part of the project and which designated areas they will be in the RTC; no security from Project Kirkbride will be needed (Instead, the city will provide people from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 4.); photographers need to provide their own safety equipment for the areas of the RTC deemed unsafe; the East wing of the RTC will be available but not the tunnels; people will log in and log out of the RTC and they must be there for a purpose; a $1,500 deposit will be required; everyone with the project will need to sign waivers.
“I just want to get him communicating with me on these details,” Sievert said, of VanAntwerpen.
The project’s proposal has 35 photographers shooting at the RTC from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. May 4. The staff response to the proposal did not agree with some of the proposal’s points, creating the lengthy discussion Monday.
Council member Jay Cichosz said clarification was part of the issue.
“I think we’ve gotten some different information at times,” Cichosz said. For example, the idea that there were multiple photo sessions instead of just one. May 3 and May 5 would be days for standard tours of the RTC by the Friends of the Kirkbride.
“I personally don’t have a problem with getting this photographed,” Cichosz said. “What can we do to get this done?”
Council member Ben Schierer agreed that there’s value to the project. The council approved a security control outline for the RTC March 18. It was something they didn’t want to prevent beneficial projects, he said.
“I’m afraid that’s what’s happening here,” Schierer said.
Initially, the city recommendation for the project included a $5,000 deposit to cover for estimated staff time and electricity.
“I think Christian would say that would be a deal breaker,” said the Rev. Jon Olson, project liaison who spoke on behalf of the project Monday.
Sievert said they could possibly come up with six security people, which was more than the estimates as part of the city recommendation.
Council member Scott Rachels said he knows it’s a good project, but he wanted VanAntwerpen to come and present the details to the council. He also was concerned about straying too much from the plan of charging as part of the security guidelines.
“He picked a date without even asking us,” Rachels said. “We have to stick to our plan.”
Olson said there was “verbal encouragement that it would likely happen” back in January, and that part of this feels like the rules changed during the game, while the guidelines were being worked out.
The purpose of the project is to preserve the memory of the Kirkbride’s service as a state hospital before it’s either re-purposed or demolished. The photos would be placed on a website where they would be interactively viewable to the public.