Fairfield hoping to double Friday summer concerts in 2020

Fairfield is hoping to add more events to its Friday Night Concert Series next year as part of its budget planning for 2020.

The concert series this year held three shows, on the fourth Friday of the summer months, and officials hope to double that number next year at Village Green Amphitheater.

“We’re asking for $5,000 more in this line item due to the popularity of our Friday night concert series,” said Tiphanie Howard, director of Fairfield’s Parks and Recreation Department.

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An estimated 10,000 people collectively attended the three summer concerts, and Howard said the department will add three more concerts to the Friday series, transitioning to an every-other-week series.

Another $5,000 will be added to the city’s efforts to address the Emerald Ash Borer infestation. The city has treated ash trees at the city building and some parks, such as Veterans Park on Wessel Drive, but the city hasn’t treated trees at Harbin Park “because we have so many,” said City Manager Mark Wendling.

“We were selective about which ones (are treated),” he said.

Howard said the city’s Emerald Ash Borer plan was developed in 2013.

“We’re actually playing a little bit of catch-up,” she said. “Depending on the severity of the infestation, it takes three to five years to get to the point where we actually have to remove (the tree).”

The parks department budget is projected to be $5.35 million in 2020, a 3.65 percent increase over this year, said Finance Director Scott Timmer. Raises are part of the increase, and personnel costs account for about 60 percent of the department’s budget.

About 60 percent of the department’s operation is funded by the city’s general fund, which is projected to be $30.34 million in 2020.

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The city also discussed the Fairfield Fire Department’s budget, which 2020’s projections are dependant on the city accepting a federal firefighter staffing grant.

If the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant is accepted, the fire department’s budget will be projected to be more than $8.33 million — which does not include the grant reimbursement. The department’s budget will be $7.6 million if it does not accept the SAFER grant.

Other departments discussed Monday night include:

• Finance, with a projected $5.7 million 2020 budget.

• Development Services, with a projected $1.56 million 2020 budget.

• Administration, with a projected $2.18 million 2020 budget.

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The city expects to spend nearly $75.6 million as it collects a projected $83.7 million in revenues, according to Timmer.

City Council will consider the 2020 budget for approval in December after a public hearing, which is scheduled for later this month.

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