A longtime summer tradition may be in jeopardy after cuts to the Warren town budget.
The cuts could spell the end of the annual summer concert series at bandshell, EastBayRI.com reported. The concert series has been an annual summer staple for 15 years.
The town is having difficulty signing bands to perform, according to Warren Recreation Director Sharon Lombardi. The town cut its usual contribution to the series in half, offering $1,000 this year, the newspaper reported. Lombardi said bands usually charge about $500 to perform. With half the usual money available, she said she doesn't know what will happen.
"We're trying to figure it out," she said Monday. "It's been tough."
Lombardi said she's been talking to officials about creative ways to find bands — discussing a "Battle of the Bands"-type competition, at which bands would play for free and compete for the $1,000 as a grand prize. She is also seeking bands that may want to donate their time to the community. One has signed on so far.
The Warren Town Council approved a $24 million budget, . The budget calls for departmental cuts of up to 10 percent across the board, as well as a level-funding of the Bristol-Warren School District, . The cuts result in a small reduction to the property tax rate — from $17.15 per thousand of taxable value to $17.04.
Lombardi is seeking donations from the public to help keep the concert series alive. To donate or for more information, call the at 401-603-4174.