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Wildwood seeking proposals for more beach concerts

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WILDWOOD — City officials want concerts like Kenny Chesney and the alternative rock show earlier this year to become regular events on Wildwood’s beach each summer.

To make that a reality, commissioners unanimously voted on a resolution to begin accepting qualified proposals for music festivals and concerts during a special meeting Oct. 17.

Ryan Troiano, who described himself as the “main person coordinating what will be done on the beach moving forward,” said that since the resolution was passed, about five packets had already been picked up from City Hall.

“Wildwood’s not a secret anymore,” he said.

Troiano, who is the son of Mayor Ernie Troiano, was hired in June as the confidential secretary of the commissioner of revenue and finance. He is also a city firefighter. He makes $30,000 in the new position, in addition to the $59,328 he earns as a firefighter.

He explained that the city chose to use requests for qualified proposals to give anyone the chance to pitch their ideas to the city. By doing that, he said, the city could then judge which events will be the most beneficial to the city’s taxpayers.

According to the resolution, “it is in the public’s interest to provide for events and activities on the city’s beach.”  It also states that the value of the concessions is dependent upon the proposals received by the city.

Troiano said that the bid packets explain that there is a $15,000 minimum flat fee to be paid to the city for use of the beach for a music festival or concert. The resolution also states that “there should be no cost incurred by the city because the concessionaire shall compensate the city for any public services required by the event.”

After the proposals are received, the city will then determine which events to allow on the beach. Some of the criteria officials will weigh, Troiano said, include how the city will benefit financially, as well as the aesthetic of the event. He added that the city hopes that the events will help add to the image of Wildwood’s beach as “world-class.”

To help attract potential proposals, Troiano said the city plans to spend the winter working on cleaning up the beach. One small aspect, he said, was power washing all the trash cans and repainting them, as well as other low cost clean ups and fixes.

To keep taxes stable, Commissioner Pete Byron has repeatedly said the city has to further investigate new revenue sources. In Wildwood, that means looking to its expansive beach.

“The beach is the greatest untapped source for potential new revenue,” Byron said earlier this month.