Monroe yet to decide on music festival funding

MONROE — The Monroe City Council has asked for another week to decide the fate of the MusicFest at Lake Tye Park.

The event lost $36,000 in public funds last year. Now, Keith Brock, a guitarist who splits his time between Los Angeles and Monroe, wants the city to put up $65,000 for another September festival.

Brock told The Herald last week he intends to donate $20,000 to fund a 2014 concert if the city matches his contribution.

If the council agrees to fund a 2014 festival, city officials have said they want to see if others are interested in the concert contract.

Last year, the city decided Brock’s proposal was so unique they awarded the 2013 contract to him exclusively. City officials also acknowledge they didn’t vet Brock’s background before entrusting him with public money.

The council was expected this week to decide whether to fund this year’s event.

Mayor Geoffrey Thomas said the council wanted to allow more time for information from Brock.

Thomas said he still has concerns about the city funding a festival. Monroe’s 2014 general fund has budgeted expenses forecast to exceed revenues by $102,804.

The council is now set to decide at the March 25 meeting.

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