Sheriff: Local juggalo gathering hurts county
HARDIN COUNTY, Ill. — For the 10,000 people who attend the annual “Gathering of the Juggalos,” the four-day festival may be a fun time. Hardin County Sheriff Lloyd Cullison said for his community, it isn’t.
“It’s really tearing my county up,” he said.
He said in recent years, that event and the two Hogrock festivals have gotten got of hand.
“When this first started, most of the county was tolerant,” Cullison said. “They didn’t really like it but they’d tolerate it. But now, they’ve been a little scared.”
In fact, he’s had to set aside about $30,000 a year from his $200,000 budget to help pay for security. With just six part-time officers, he said he’s stretched thin.
“It’s illegal to sell drugs. It’s illegal for prostitution and yet they do it right under your nose, knowing full well we can’t do anything about it because we don’t have the manpower.”
What’s worse, Cullison added, is organizer Tim York pockets all the money the events generate because the county doesn’t have a tax collection system in place that would require him to give some of the money to the community. Some people who live in the county said that isn’t right.
“We need this clarified,” said Brenda Clanton. “We need this corrected.”
Clanton is collecting signatures in hopes of getting enough to put a tax referendum on next year’s ballot.
“It doesn’t make sense to have this go on for as long but to continue, it makes even less sense,” she said.
Sheriff Cullison said safety is also a big issue. Earlier this year, a person drowned in the Ohio River and three people are still missing.
He said he hopes York steps up and takes some personal and financial responsibility.