Chamber to seek funds to save NC carriage firm
Efforts to keep the horse-drawn carriage in business in downtown Nevada City continue.
Nevada City Carriage Co. President David Vertin and the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce could soon ask the Nevada City City Council to lower his annual franchise fee from $1,000 to $250 – the cost to the city of parking his horse-drawn carriages in front of the National Hotel on Broad Street.
The Chamber of Commerce wants to help Vertin raise another $10,000 a year to keep his company solvent.
Vertin, who runs the Cedar Creek Horse Logging Milling Inc., a logging and lumber company that operates the horse-drawn carriage company, is also president-elect of the Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce, which held a meeting Friday to discuss Vertin’s plight, has also decided to mail more than 1,500 letters requesting donations to keep Nevada City Carriage Co. in business.
The letters, most of which will be mailed to Nevada City property owners, will ask for donations ranging from $28 to $10,000. The company needs $28 a day to remain solvent, Vertin said.
Mimi Simmons, the Chamber of Commerce’s past president and a real estate broker, said the donations would only be a short-term solution. More needs to be done, she said.
An earlier plan to have the city hire Vertin’s company to haul trash off site during special events has been abandoned.
In order to receive a steady source of revenue, Vertin wants to rent space at the Nevada City Carriage House off Uren Street, where his horses are housed.
“That might really solve our problems over the long haul,” Vertin said.
The 11,000-square-foot building, constructed in the late 1980s, has never been completed, in part because some fire-safety measures have not yet been installed.
Vertin wants the city to give him permission to rent a multipurpose room and an apartment. Vertin’s firm started growing wine outside Nevada City this year, and he hopes the city will allow him to process wine at the carriage house, he said.
Vertin said last fall he expected to fold by Jan. 1. He now says he will remain in business for the time being.
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