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City to pay $63k LaconiaFest debt

Union Leader Correspondent

June 30. 2016 12:40AM
As Motorcycle Week in Laconia ended Sunday, questions remained about canceled performances, unpaid bills and ticket refunds at LaconiaFest. (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)

LACONIA — As state and local law enforcement investigators continue to look into LaconiaFest, the city has decided to pay the bills incurred that were not paid by the festival’s promoters in order to meet the end of the fiscal year without the debt.

The festival, which closed a day early, allegedly left many employees without their full pay for the week. Festival organizers, who claimed that the city was overbilling them for police and fire department services during the Bike Week event, refused to pay $63,130 of the city’s bill for those services.

City officials this week decided that because the fiscal year ends on Thursday, the bill should be paid so the city doesn’t remain with a debt from the festival, said City Manager Scott Myers.

“We have an obligation to pay our debts by the end of the fiscal year,” Myers said.

The money will come from the city’s Motorcycle Week account, a special account that has a balance of $117,000, Myers said. The funds in the account are comprised of vendor fees and other costs paid to the city for Motorcycle Week.

Meanwhile, the investigation into LaconiaFest continues. An investigator from the Attorney General’s Office was in Laconia last week looking into the concert series held for the first time during Laconia Motorcycle Week two weeks ago.

Police had claims from customers who want refunds for the canceled June 11 Sevendust performance and have not received them, and from employees at the festival who say the concert promoters didn’t pay them, Police Chief Chris Adams said.

“Most of those claims will probably be civil claims, not criminal claims,” Myers said.

The promoter of record for the city, Mike Trainor, who has an address in Gilford, left the festival late in the week after the city billed Trainor and his fellow promoters for about $100,000 to pay for police and fire department details and other expenses, Myers said.

Though the city is paying the remainder of that bill to balance its books, city officials may still pursue Trainor and the other promoters involved to get the money owed.

“The fact that we paid this obligation does not mean were are not seeking to recoup those fund,” he said. “We haven’t decided those issues yet.”

Entertainment Tourism Laconia

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