When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved a contract for a company to manage a new community festival.

When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved a contract for a company to manage a new community festival.

The new festival, which will be called Camp Leavenworth, is scheduled for Sept. 20-21 in the downtown area.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to hire O’Neill Events and Marketing, Kansas City, Missouri, to manage the festival.

The firm previously was hired by the city to conduct event research for a possible city-sponsored festival.

The company developed a proposal for the theme of the festival, which was presented to commissioners last month.

Keli O’Neill Wenzel, president and CEO of O’Neill Events and Marketing, said last month that the festival's theme will celebrate the city’s sense of freedom and adventure, and it will pay tribute to the community’s ties to the military.

Under the terms of a contract approved Tuesday, the city will pay O'Neill Events and Marketing $45,000 to manage the festival. This amount will be for eight months of work from March through October.

The company will charge the city an additional $2,000 for financial management of the festival. The company also will procure third-party software services for a volunteer management system, at an estimated cost of $800, and a sponsorship management system, at an estimated cost of $250.

City Manager Paul Kramer said the fees charged by the company will be paid for with money the city government receives from a transient guest tax, which is charged to people who stay in hotels in the city.

O'Neill Events and Marketing also receive a 10 percent commission for sponsorships, Kramer said.

"That's a very standard contract," he said.

Ahead of Tuesday's meeting, O'Neill Events and Marketing put together a draft budget for the festival. But Kramer said "there's a lot of refining to do" for the budget.

The draft budget estimates income for the festival of $290,600.

This figure includes a city sponsorship of $165,000 and $70,000 in community and corporate sponsorships.

Kramer said after the meeting that any subsidy from the city also will be paid for with money generated through the transient guest tax.

"There's sufficient funding for this," he said.

The budget also estimates expenses totaling $259,700 for things such as live entertainment, carnival rides, fireworks and equipment rental.

The management contract was approved unanimously. But Commissioner Larry Dedeke expressed reservations before the vote.

"I think it's too expensive especially for the first year," he said.

Dedeke said he believes estimates about income and expenses for the festival are unreasonably high.

Commissioner Nancy Bauder argued the festival will require extra work for its first year.

Commissioner Mark Preisinger said he believes the festival may do well if there are no other competing festivals in the area at the same time.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR