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City chips in $4,000 for concert series
• Funds will come from taxes paid by those renting hotel rooms
concert band
The Ceres City Council took action to boost funding for the annual summer Concerts in the Park. - photo by Courier file photo

Members of the Ceres City Council voted last week to spend $4,000 from the increased revenue stream of the hotel tax to be used on next summer’s Concerts in the Park series.

The city had trimmed back what it spent on the concerts program in recent years due to budgetary constraints, causing a greater dependence on outside fundraising, such as through the Celebrity Waiter Night. But that fundraising has fallen short, prompting the city to chip in more to secure entertainers for next summer’s music lineup.

“We need to allocate money before the concert to be able to hire the entertainment for the concert series and that needs to happen now prior to the event happening next summer,” City Manager Toby Wells explained at the Nov. 13 City Council meeting.

Ceres voters approved Measure E in November 2015 which effectively doubled the Transient and Occupancy Tax from five to 10 percent. The city decided to use those funds to support activities which would help promote Ceres to outsiders. To guide where the money is to be allocated, a special ad-hoc committee was established and now meets regularly. Earlier this year the city budgeted $20,000 in TOT revenues to be spent on a Community Event and Activity Grant Program. In last week’s action the city drew $4,000 to be used on concerts.