Sturgis bike rally cancelled for 3rd straight year

By The Associated Press

STURGIS — The city of Sturgis and organizers of a popular motorcycle rally have failed for the third straight year to agree on scheduling the event.

The event was canceled in 2011 and 2012 in a dispute over funds for city services including security, sanitation and trash collection. That same dispute apparently scuttled plans for the 2013 rally.

Organizers say the rally, once an Oktibbeha County staple for 14 straight years, has been a dependable source of revenue for local hotels and restaurants.

The board of aldermen had planned a workshop on Tuesday to develop a counterproposal to the bike rally board’s proposed financial agreement.

Mayor Walter Turner tells the Starkville Daily News (http://bit.ly/XJ8PgF) that only two aldermen showed up — not enough to draft counterproposal. The board meets again March 5.

“It wouldn’t be right if you didn’t have the full board there, or at least the majority,” Turner said. “Two (aldermen) don’t need to be making suggestions.

“I’m very disappointed, and I understand the frustration of the rally board. I hope that, sometime in the future, we can bring the rally back to Sturgis.”"

Rally board president Donny Hanson said he needed a counterproposal by the end of February to adequately prepare for a rally in August.

“We’ve always found that we need that much time to get everything together,” Hanson said.

Hanson said the absence of three aldermen show their attitudes toward the rally.

“That was evidence to us that they did not want to fool with the rally,” Hanson said. “We decided to cancel this year, sit back and wait and see how the election goes in June and see if (citizens) elect aldermen that might support the rally.”