VACAVILLE — The Vacaville City Council approved Tuesday night going forward with an 11-week Creekwalk Concert series this summer and reaching out to the community to get sponsorships to pay for the Fourth of July fireworks show.
Council members declined to field a request from the Downtown Business Improvement District to extend the popular downtown event to 13 weeks because of the costs involved.
Vacaville Community Services Director Kerry Walker stressed the need for sponsorships, noting that unless sponsorships were found to defray the approximately $24,000 cost of the fireworks show, the city will have to consider other options that may include imposing an admission fee.
Last year, the loss of redevelopment funds put every community event that had received money on the chopping block.
The Creekwalk Concert series continued because the city approved charging people a $2 admission fee to what was once a free community event, reduced vendor costs and got a sponsorship from the Downtown Vacaville Business Improvement District. The July 4, 2012, fireworks show took place only because the fireworks provider messed up the 2011 show and offered to pay part of the costs.
The council also approved renewing its annual contract with the Downtown Business Improvement District after hearing a report from DVBID Executive Director Bob Vollmer that said the downtown association managed to pull off a banner year of events that included more than 200 performances which encouraged shoppers to spend enough to boost sales tax revenues by 9 percent from 2011.
Vollmer also asked for financial support from the city, stating the district lost $100,000 in revenues in 2012 that included a $45,000 loss from the elimination of city redevelopment agency funding. He and several DVBID board members said they recouped some of the loss from one-time funding garnered from supporters.
“We do need your help,” Vollmer said, stressing that if he does not get it, the DVBID will be forced to cut or change its 2013 schedule of events.
City financial support for the downtown district had shrunk from $52,250 in 2006 to $45,000 in 2011. The district received no money in 2012. In response to the loss, the district spent its $60,000 reserve and got one-time financial help from supporters to make fiscal ends meet.
Vacaville Director of Housing Services Cynthia Johnston did recommend that the council approve the 2013 agreement with the downtown district and consider some form of a grant for the district as part of its 2013-14 budget process.