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Resident Input Helped Keep DeKalb Band Operating As Normal In Light Of Proposed Budget Cuts

Jenna Dooley

Community input played a role in keeping the DeKalb Municipal Band operating at normal capacity for now.

The DeKalb City Council held a special meeting recently where they addressed potential budget cuts for the next year. That included the possibility of reduced funding for the DeKalb Municipal Band.

DeKalb Alderman David Jacobson says the band currently gets $60,000 annually when they usually only spend $50,000. He says the city agreed to cut just the $10,000 difference during the special meeting.

Jacobson says community members made their thoughts on the matter known, especially since many were concerned that all band funds would be cut completely from the city budget.

“We received dozens of e-mails,” Jacobson said. “I spoke to Jerry [Smith], the mayor, and he mentioned that he received even more that were copied just to him or directed just to him.”

Jacobson says people speaking up on those issues and showing where needs lie in the community is important for city officials to adequately represent local residents.

Jacobson says the city council is anticipating more incremental cuts for the band in future budgets. City officials say the DeKalb Municipal Band is one of the oldest active community bands in the country that still gets municipal funds.

DeKalb band conductor Kirk Lundbeck says he feels the band has been a positive influence in the community in its 163 years of operation.