DIXON – The city will pay $25,000 to keep its Main Street executive director from heading elsewhere.
That will bring Josh Albrecht’s salary to $65,000 a year, the city said in a news release Tuesday.
Albrecht, who landed the lucrative Mumford & Sons concert in 2012 and organizes several other events within the city, last week was offered a comparable position in another community.
Police Chief Danny Langloss, special assistant to the City Council, said he became aware Albrecht was being “heavily recruited” for community development positions in two other towns while studying the functions of Dixon Main Street, Dixon Tourism and the Riverfront. The study will recommend what the future of those organizations should be and whether some services could be consolidated.
“The city of Dixon recognizes the value of Dixon Main Street and, in particular, the skill set that Josh Albrecht brings to the organization,” Langloss said. “The [committee studying those organizations] felt that it was crucial to the community’s continued success for Dixon Main Street to be able to retain Albrecht.”
Langloss declined to say which two cities were recruiting him.
The nonprofit Dixon Main Street is a separate organization from the city with a budget of about $100,000 a year. Fundraisers, donations and grants, along with a yearly contribution from the city, fund the group; it gets no federal or state money.
Main Street had asked the City Council to increase its yearly contribution from $14,000 last year to $33,000 in 2013-2014, so it can avoid cutting any events.
The request was in line with the National Trust Main Street and Illinois Main Street recommendation that a third of a Main Street organization’s budget come from the local municipality.
The $25,000 for Albrecht will be added to its annual contribution, which hasn’t been decided but will fall between $25,000 and $33,000, depending on the City Council’s decision after the study is done, Langloss said.
Although there is no written agreement, Albrecht said the extra money will keep him in Dixon.
“[Langloss] and a few members of our Main Street board had discussions to try to keep me here,” Albrecht said. “Because the city was able to do that, I was able to give my commitment to stay.”
Albrecht has been Main Street executive director since December 2007. Since then, Main Street has expanded its calendar of events from 10 to 50 days, according to the news release.
His big get was bringing the Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road Tour to Dixon. He turned the show into a 2-day festival with other bands and many downtown events, which attracted 15,000 people to the area, twice the city’s population.
Main Street also spearheads the Scarecrow Festival, Christmas Walk, Reagan Trail Days, Founders Day and Musical Fridays, among other events, and partners with Petunia Festival and other groups to put on other events.
Langloss said Dixon is far from where it wants to be and sees retaining Albrecht as an important step in getting there.
Main Street Board President Scott Brown said keeping Albrecht was critical to the organization’s continued success.
“Josh is a tremendous asset, emboldening our efforts to promote community teamwork, historic preservation, events, and business development for Dixon,” Brown said. “His efforts put us where we are today and we need him here to implement his bigger and better ideas for Dixon.”
Albrecht said he is happy to stay in Dixon, and said he is looking forward to working with the city’s other organizations to bring future events there.
“I’m very grateful for that. My family loves the city of Dixon, and I am delighted that I can continue helping Dixon be the best it can be.”