Hercules city staff will recommend postponing all community events—including the Cultural Festival and farmers' market—until the city’s general fund can support non-essential expenditures.
Staff will recommend the resolution to cancel events at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which comes just days before dozens of employees are scheduled to receive notices due to a . Canceling the events would save the city’s general fund roughly $147,000 annually, city records show.
On March 8, the council considered a similar events cancellation resolution and voted to cut the Christmas tree lighting, Community Update (an informational event on city and other agency programs) and funding for the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, while keeping the Cultural Festival, Fourth of July Celebration, Community Cleanup and lower-profile events. The council also voted to preserve the annual City of Hercules and Hercules Titans Boosters Golf Tournament and the seasonal farmers' market, which staff said brought $20,000 and $4,000, respectively, in net profit per year.
Since the March 8 vote, city staff has recalculated costs associated with the events and come up with higher numbers (earlier calculations did not include staff time). New numbers showed the farmers' market losing the city $16,255 per year. The golf tournament, while still netting between $5,400-$20,000, would likely receive less sponsorship because of recent changes in city officials and in companies that contract with the City of Hercules-contracted companies—some the top contributors to the event. If the city ends up cutting the farmers' market, an outside organization still has the option of picking up the event, said Interim Parks and Recreation Director Pedro Jimenez said at last week’s joint Financial Subcommittee-Citizens Finance Advisory Ad Hoc Committee.
In the March 8 meeting, council members said that if one community event can be saved, it should be the Cultural Festival, which is Hercules’ most popular—and expensive—event, costing the city $60,000 each year.
This year, roughly half of that cost has already been used towards planning for the summer event, Jimenez said.
Jimenez said his staff has considered a simplified version of the Cultural Festival, but it would still cost the city around $25,000. The Hercules Fourth of July Committee, which helps to plan the Independence Day parade and fireworks, has recommended canceling this year's event due to a dwindling city budget, Jimenez said.
Even if funds are approved for the festivities, pending layoffs will put pressure on an already stressed staff. “We’re going to have a very skeleton crew to do these events. It’s going to be tough,” said Jimenez.
COMMUNITY EVENTS FACING CANCELLATION
Expenditures: $28,255.04. Income: $12,000. Net Profit: -$16,255.04
Expenditures: $60,255.04. Income: $12,000. Net Profit: -$48,255.04
4th of July Celebration
Expenditures: $44,607. Income: $15,00000 Net Profit: -$29,607
Expenditures: $30,000/$14,607. Income: $50,000 Net Profit: $20,000/$5,393
Expenditures: $10,969. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$10,969
- Citywide Garage Sales
- JAM in the Park
- Mayors Conference
- Sister City
- Mayor's Breakfast
- Crab Feed
- Community Garden
- Council Meeting (New Council)
- Others: Office, Banners, etc.
Expenditures $24,255.42. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$24,255.42
CURRENTLY CANCELED EVENTS
Expenditures: $5,217.75. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$5,217.75
Expenditures: $7,217.75. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$7,217.75
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Expenditures: $5,000. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$5,000