Oskaloosa Jefferson County Commissioners denied a permit this afternoon to have the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival next summer on private land in the southeastern part of the county.
"The reason is we do not have the infrastructure to handle this, and if we had the infrastructure to handle this, I would approve it," Commissioner David Christy said.
Christy and Commissioner Don Edmonds, who both voted against the permit, said the rural roads would not be able to handle the traffic in case of an emergency. Commissioner Francis Grollmes voted to try the festival for one year.
Commissioners made the decision after hearing comments from several neighbors, who voiced traffic, safety and environmental concerns.
Festival founder and promoter Brett Mosiman and Mary Cronemeyer, an owner of the Circle S Ranch & Country Inn, had asked the commission to grant a one-year special event permit for the festival in June. In the previous four years, it has been at Clinton State Park west of Lawrence.
County economic development officials estimated the festival would generate $106,000 in tax revenue and inject $3 million into the county's economy, but several people who spoke in opposition questioned whether festivalgoers would spend money in Douglas County.
A few neighbors and county residents spoke in support of the festival.
Mosiman said the festival is still considering venues for June 2008 and that promoters have also recently made contact with Clinton State Park management about exploring contract options for the festival returning.