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The Solvang City Council formed an ad hoc committee Monday night to discuss a longer-term contract with the Solvang Trolley.

At the council’s last meeting, members decided to table discussions about funding a shade structure for the horse-drawn trolley.

Mayor Jim Richardson directed staff to add an ad hoc committee to the meeting agenda last month in order to further discuss extending the Solvang Trolley’s two-year license.

At first, council member Karen Waite said she opposed the ad hoc committee, because she didn’t want public funds to be used to assist a private business.

She reversed her decision when council member Ryan Toussaint and Richardson explained that the intent was to extend the contract not to provide financial assistance.

Toussaint said the goal of the committee was to help the business get a loan by extending its contract.

“The main drive was we have to make it viable for him to even go out and do that,” Toussaint said, adding that investment in the shade structure would be lost if contracts remained short term.

“I would hate to see one of our long-term businesses fail,” Waite said.

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She said if no money was going to be spent, “then I would be willing to entertain the idea of having an ad hoc committee.”

Council member Joan Jamieson, Richardson and Waite said they would rather not be on the committee.

Councilman Neill Zimmerman, who was not in attendance, was nominated for the ad hoc committee.

Toussaint volunteered himself.