City Has $67,500 From Live Nation Concerts
$1.20 from each ticket sold goes to EP Recreation
During the October 3rd, 2019 East Providence City Council budget workshop, it was disclosed that the city has $67,476 in a special account to be used specifically for parks and recreation. The money, in a non-budget special account, is from an agreement between the city and Live Nation Entertainment which gives the city a portion of each concert ticket sold at the Bold Point waterfront venue.
"A portion of proceeds from Live Nation (concerts) was supposed to go directly to recreation. Did that happen," asked council president Bob Britto. City finance director, Malcolm Moore replied that "yes, the money does go there. Currently we have $67,476 cumulatively. We haven't been spending the money, we're stockpiling it. This is our third year. We may be getting one more deposit," added Moore. Moore said that the city receives about $1.20 for each ticket sold for the concerts.
At the October 2nd workshop, the council had discussed decreasing a line item for city fireworks which had increased for this year. City Recreation Director Diane Sullivan explained that it was more costly to keep the traditional July 3rd date for fireworks and music. "July 3rd is a very popular date for most firework venues and there aren't many pyrotechnic companies available. To keep the vendor we have will cost a little more money but is still reasonable for what we get," said Sullivan. Sullivan said that most residents prefer the July 3rd date for a fireworks and concert because they generally have the July 4th holiday off.
"In the discussion we had on fireworks last night, if we had known about this account we could have avoided this expense problem," said Britto. "Yes, and because we're not voting yet on the budget, we can adjust accounts to reflect this available money for recreation," offered at large councilman Bob Rodericks. "It appears that this money can be used for any reason in recreation and lessen the budgetary impact," said Rodericks.
"I agree," said Britto. "We had to cut or scale back when we could have used this money (for fireworks), Britto added. Ward Two councilwoman Anna Souse stressed the need for the budget book to list all revenues alongside the expenditures. "Some things should go to specific accounts and not just the general fund," said Sousa. "In this case, this fund isn't anywhere in the budget. How would we know," asked Rodericks.
Ward Three councilman Nate Cahoon also brought up the fireworks expense account in a light moment. "Diane, how long did we haggle about fireworks last night," Cahoon asked Recreation Director Diane Sullivan. "You could have just said, dude we have the money, leave me alone," to which Sullivan chuckled.
Moore told the council that the state budget commission was responsible for changing the process. "There used to be all kinds of money set aside for specifices like police detail, fire rescue, etc. The budget commission came here and said, no, it all has to go to the general fund," Moore explained.
"But this is long after the budget commission left," replied Britto. This money was specifically for recreation and parks. We wouldn't know because it (Live Nation money) wasn't brought up last night," asserted Britto.
"So it's not anywhere in the budget," asked Rodericks. "No, it's in a special account, I'll have to see how we can spend the money," said Moore. "I'm okay with saving the Live Nation stipend for a rainy day," Rodericks added after the meeting. "But I believe it's raining now at Pierce Stadium and we can make some much needed and much delayed repairs with a portion of this money, and not add to the regular budget. I think it's important for resident to know this. We're often asked what residuals are we getting for development like Live Nation, Kettle Point, etc," he added.
The city council met late Thursday evening as they go through each budget line in each city department. The council has met on four nights this week as they get ready to vote on the 2020 city budget as proposed by the Mayor.
Earlier Press Statement From Live Nation:
"The City of East Providence and the East Providence Waterfront Commission are working with Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company, on initial stages of securing a new location for a new amphitheater to house the city’s waterfront concert series and more local entertainment. Not far from its current location, the prospective site is a new mixed-use development.
RI Waterfront Enterprises LLC, the new parcel owner, has planned a unique mixed-use model to meet two objectives: helping connect the people of East Providence to the waterfront, and serving the port needs of the offshore wind industry. The entertainment venue is planned to include an outdoor amphitheater, ample parking, and new amenities for warm weather events from May to September. The venue will be booked by Live Nation New England.
The City of East Providence and the East Providence Waterfront Commission partnered with RI Waterfront Enterprises to bring this 45-acre mixed-use development project to fruition. Mayor Bob DaSilva said, “It was important for the City to champion this project because it adds to our City’s commercial tax base, as well as solidifies the State of Rhode Island’s commitment to green energy and its position at the forefront of offshore wind energy.”