Rockwall City Council votes to double concerts by lake starting April 16


ROCKWALL-The Rockwall City Council voted unanimously last week to double the number of popular free “Concerts by the Lake” in 2009, from 12 to 24 per year, beginning April 16 and extending through Sept. 24.

Concerts By The Lake attracted an average of 3,000-plus people in 2008.

Mayor Bill Cecil had proposed the measure so that Rockwall families facing financial distress due to the downtown in the nation’s economy could find free entertainment.

“If it helps retail and helps restaurants down there, and that in turn helps the sales tax. But the major focus is the citizens, I am still dedicated to that,” Mayor Cecil said.

Council Member Cliff Sevier, who recently was laid off, said he totally agreed with Mayor Cecil.

“Times are tough,” he said. “Vacations are probably out for many, and the concerts, traditionally well-attended, provide a local entertainment. We’re doing this for the betterment of our community.”

Laid-off Council Member David Sweet said he also agreed.

“It is extremely important for people who are not as financially well off this year.  I can safely say the Sweets aren’t.”

Recreational development funds of the city pay for the annual summer series of a variety of musical entertainment.

“Last year, we averaged about 3,000 to 3,500 people per concert,” park director Brad Griggs said.

The recreational development fund has about $200,000 in it at this time.

Using $30,800 from the fund to extend the series, plus adding $4,800 in overtime for police presence, was not considered a problem by the council, nor by Griggs.

The Council may also discuss obtaining financial support from The Harbor merchants to help pay for the concerts.

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