City Council approves funding for Veishea pancakes to sell at $2 per person


Yanhua Huang/ Iowa State Daily

The Ames City Council decides to invest $8,000 for the Veishea pancake feed. Matthew Goodman, at-large representative, voted against the promotion. The city of Ames had its regular meeting in City Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday night, Dec. 10.

Michelle Schoening

Mayor Ann Campbell was the deciding vote in Tuesday night’s City Council meeting regarding the funding to the Veishea pancake event. 

The motion passed that the council would provide its original funding of $8,000 to Veishea for the event and that the pancakes are to be sold at $2 per person, $2 fewer than last year. 

Veishea co-chairmen Karl Kerns and Nick Morton presented to the council to explain reasoning for the needed funding and what the higher price per person cost adds to the entire Veishea event. 

Kerns said if the cost was $3 per person Veishea breaks even, but if they could charge $4 per person then they could search for higher-quality entertainment and promoting nonalcoholic events on campus. 

Councilman Tom Wacha said he sees the funding as an investment to the students. 

“We want to support your activity; we are willing to invest $8,000 of taxpayer’s money,” Wacha said. “But from our standpoint, that investment is only as good as the amount of students that take advantage of it. So the less students have to pay for pancakes, the better our investment becomes.”

Councilman Jeremy Davis agreed with Wacha that this is about students coming to enjoy the pancakes at the lowest cost possible. 

“When you are looking at an undergraduate student and the decision between something that costs $3 or $4 and something that costs $2,” Davis said, “you are going to be more willing to spend the $2 and come to Central Campus.”

Councilwoman Victoria Szopinski disagreed and said by using the funding for the pancakes, fewer tax dollars will be used on the police force at noncampus activities. 

“I also think the whole reason behind this was to keep students on campus,” Szopinski said, “so they aren’t out costing the taxpayers dollars as our police are then handling additional activities.”

Davis said the direct cost of the pancakes has not changed drastically over the years. Students should not have to pay more than the direct cost Veishea pays to provide students with the pancakes. 

Kerns said that by cutting the cost down to $2 per person, the committee will have to look for other funding sources and limit the entertainment at the pancake feed. 

The council was split on the decision, therefore Campbell gave the final “aye” for the motion to pass. 

Other motions passed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting include a flood mitigation of Squaw Creek in Ames.

The motion carried was to continue plans for a $5.9 million project that would include curving the banks of the river allowing it to hold more flood water. 

The project was sent back to city staff to distinguish the difference between reshaping the stream and restoring it. By restoring the stream, Ames could gain another point of recreation for those in the community and give pride back to the river. 

In the future, the council hopes to build a fund to address area flooding issues and come up with a flooding mechanism that can address consultants.