The festivities marking the inauguration of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter ended in January, but two vendors owed $36,000 are still waiting to get paid.
The weeklong affair, which included Carter’s Jan. 2 inauguration ceremony, community events and an inaugural ball, ran up a total tab of about $205,000.
Donations paid for events during the inauguration week, all of which were free and open to the public. To date, 65 donors have contributed a total of $169,600, according to Visit St. Paul, which the St. Paul City Council authorized in December to coordinate inauguration planning, receive funds and pay expenses.
The biggest outside donations came from the St. Paul Foundation, which contributed $11,000, and AFSCME Council 5 and the F.R. Bigelow Foundation, which each contributed $10,000. Carter’s campaign contributed $15,000, which provided a down payment for a $50,000 bill for event planner Rae Mackenzie Group.
Other donors included local sports teams, law firms, corporations, nonprofits and individuals. Among them: the Vikings, Wild, Target Corp., Thor Construction, Xcel Energy, Ecolab, Hubbard Broadcasting and the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.
Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, who spoke at the inauguration, and Deputy St. Paul Mayor Jaime Tincher each gave $1,000.
The campaigns of Council Members Rebecca Noecker, Jane Prince and Russ Stark also contributed. Stark has since left the council to join Carter’s administration as its chief resilience officer.
A representative from Visit St. Paul could not be reached for comment Friday, and Carter’s office declined to comment.
Visit St. Paul is still fundraising to cover $36,297 in remaining costs: $35,000 for Rae Mackenzie Group and $1,297 for AVEX, a company that provides event production and audiovisual services. AVEX’s total bill was $66,037.
Representatives from the companies could not be reached for comment.
Carter’s inauguration week kicked off with his swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address at Central High School, his alma mater, and ended with a ball at Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.
Costs incurred during the week included $55,750 for catering from Crave, Afro Deli, Smokin’ J’s Catering and Union Kitchen, $12,651 for event producer Event Lab, $5,093 for Union Depot and $4,250 for media production company Atomic K Studios, as well as smaller costs for valet services, printing, interpreting services, a DJ and an artist who did a live painting demonstration at the inaugural ball.
Former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges raised about $151,000 for her “One Minneapolis Inaugural” in 2014. Unlike mayors R.T. Rybak and Sharon Sayles Belton before her, Hodges did not charge admission to her inauguration party.
Former Mayor Chris Coleman, who preceded Carter, held a $100-a-person dinner and dance at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel for his first inauguration in 2006.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who took office the same day as Carter, celebrated both his inauguration and that of the 13 City Council members with a free event at the First Avenue Mainroom.