Colusa tightens budget while hosting several summer events | Colusa Sun Herald

After spending more than $158,000 last year to sponsor several local entertainment events, the city of Colusa reduced its summer events budget this year and utilized donations to further cut costs. 

According to a budget report released by city officials, the city had slated $116,000 for summer events in 2022, which were to include the annual concerts in the park series, Fourth of July festivities, the second annual Taco Festival and a Country in Colusa music festival. 

The seven-part concerts in the park series – which featured two new bands and five returning bangs at Veterans Memorial Park every other Thursday throughout the summer – was anticipated to cost the city $8,000 to host this year but community donations totalling $2,700 brought the city’s total balance down to $4,660. 

The annual Fourth of July festivities, which included fireworks at the Sacramento River and a street fair, was forecast to cost the city $23,000. Community contributions totalling $10,000 brought the actual cost of the event for the city down to $11,359.87 for a grand total of $21,359.87. This is a $12,175.66 decrease in spending for the same event from the previous year. 

The second annual Taco Festival was slated to cost the city $20,000 but ended up costing $9,876. Donations made to the city to sponsor this event totalled $10,125, putting the city $249 in the green. According to the budget report, the city paid more than $27,000 to host the event last year. 

The most costly and controversial event included in the forecasted budget was the Country in Colusa music festival, which cost the city $91,247 to host last year utilizing COVID-19 funding that was made available to help businesses with pandemic-related losses. While this total included the purchase of assets, the large sum prompted a grand jury investigation in which it was found that city officials had misused funding. There were also several complaints from the community about the large amount of funding that was being spent for the event last year. 

Because of this, the Colusa City Council now approves all event budgets in advance. They have also signed resolutions to implement new reporting and accountability procedures.  

This year’s music festival, which is scheduled to take place in September, has an approved budget of $65,000 and, at this time, city officials are currently seeking sponsorships to help offset the costs of the festival. 

The city notified local businesses last week that the assets that were acquired through hosting the Country in Colusa music festival last year are now available for public use, pending availability on the requested date. These assets include standing hand sanitation dispensers, portable hand washing stations, an assortment of metal tables and chairs, umbrellas, pop-up canopies, shade sails, wine barrels and cafe lights. These items can be requested at City Hall, according to officials. 

In total, city officials said after using donations, $15,770.87 was spent on summer events so far this year. With the $65,000 slated for the upcoming Country in Colusa music festival, this puts the city’s budget more than $35,000 below the $116,000 slated for summer events. 


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