Sheriff's office paid for music festival work; Thurston High, others still waiting

Thurston High school athletic director Justin Starck said they were expecting the payment between late October or early November but so far, nothing

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 7:25 PM
Updated: Nov 21, 2018 12:15 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The Linn County Sheriff's Office and the Lebanon Fire District have been paid for their work during this summer's Willamette Country Music Festival, but many others, including Thurston High School's softball team, are still waiting for their checks.

Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon said their bill of $78,000 for proving security has been settled with IMG, the company that owns the festival. He said the Lebanon Fire District also got paid $45,000.

Still, Yon said at least 11 vendors have not been paid at this time.

"I knew they would pay us first just because my name goes on the application to actually do these events," Yon said. "But I would rather have the mom and pop vendors that do this for a living get paid first."

Thurston High School athletic director Justin Starck said hundreds of students and parents volunteered during the festival, thinking they would get a donation when the festival was over for their sports programs.

Starck said they were expecting the payment between late October and early November, but so far, nothing. He said they were expecting $5,000 for the football team and between $10,000 and $15,000 for the softball team.

He said right now, the softball team has a negative balance in their account and they are not sure how they'll fund next season.

"We will rally," Starck said. "We are a tight community, and the city of Springfield has a group of people that will rally, so we will figure something out. We're not going to let these kids not have a softball season, but right now we're not sure how we are going to make it happen."

Starck said they have been getting the runaround from the organizers of Willamette Country Music Festival and IMG about the money they are owed. Thurston softball player Samantha Stewart said she's concerned about what that could mean for them next season.

"Softball has been my number one sport forever, and it breaks my heart so much to hear that," Stewart said.

KEZI 9 News reached out to IMG for comment. A spokesperson said they'll be sharing more information in the coming days.

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