Councilman wants luncheon scaled back

DURHAM Brown told a local newspaper the event should be replaced with a modest ceremony during a council meeting.

Durham officials say the government has held the event for about 20 years.

Brown estimated the luncheon for 400 people at a downtown hotel costs the city more than $45,000, including $8,000 for food and lost productivity. He says even in good economic times, the cost would be excessive for a taxpayer-paid event.

City Manager Tom Bonfield says officials will look into the matter, but he doubts it could be changed just a week before the event.

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