As the debate about the summer concert and Trumbull Day continues, First Selectman Tim Herbst is looking forward.
"We're planning an event for next year," he said Tuesday night during a phone interview.
He encouraged anyone interested in serving on the planning committee. "We'd love to have them," he said of volunteers. Those interested can call Herbst's office in Town Hall or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event will incorporate elements of Trumbull Day, such as rides, games and fireworks, and the summer concert, Herbst said.
The challenge is how to fund it, an issue that has been prominent since Mark IV Construction, a private contractor, has stopped contributing funds to the concert. The town is suing Mark IV and Mark IV is suing Trumbull over roadwork.
Townwide events have been a staple of Trumbull for years, the youngest one being the concert, which started eight years ago.
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The most successful concert was Train in 2010, but other acts have included the Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Styx, REO Speedwagon and KC and the Sunshine Band.
Last year's concert, which was to include three bands, was cancelled because of Hurricane Irene, but about 3,000 tickets were sold, Herbst has said. Unofficial estimates put Bolton's ticket sales between 300 and 700, less than the 5,000 needed to break even.
Bolton was paid $73,000 because of the but Herbst said that amount was mitigated to $20,000 in tax dollars because of leftover Train proceeds.
Such is the peril that comes with the town funding an event: If it's cancelled, the town must pay the cancellation fee. It must also absorb the loss if the event doesn't break even.
Both this year's and last year's concerts would have cost the town about $200,000 each if they proceeded, Herbst has estimated. Although the Town Council approved an appropriation for the Bolton concert, the Board of Finance did not and suggested finding private backers.
Another popular town event, the Irish Festival, was privately run and rented space in Trumbull. That's a formula that worked for the finance board, which unanimously rejected the Bolton concert appropriation.
Another event was Trumbull Day, which was last held outside the Westfield Trumbull Mall in 2011. In its prime, Trumbull Day attracted hundreds of people from all over the region with rides, games and fireworks.