Small Town News
City approves $40,000 in tourism grants
The City of Shelton commission voted to approve $40,050 of funding applications from the city's tourism budget, funded by the Hotel/Motel Tax.
The Hotel/Motel Tax Advisory committee consists of chair, Shelton Mayor John Tarrant, Annette McGee from Yesteryear Car Club, Duane Wilson from Kristmastown Kiwanis, Maria Kim, representing the Super Eight Motel and Sky Kim from the Shelton Inn.
Overall, the tourism board recommended approving all $40,050 of funding requests for 2012.
"These activities seem to do a great job of ... bringing people to the city of Shelton to stay the night," city administrative assistant Vicki Look said.
The Mason County Historical Society asked for $8,000 for the visitor center in Shelton and the Yesteryear Car Club requested $850, $200 more than it received in 2011 to help put on its annual car show.
The Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce requested $15,000, also for the visitor center. Kristmastown Kiwanis asked for $7,000, an increase of $1,000 from 2011, for its Bluegrass from the Forest festival and Save our County's Kids (SOCK) requested $3,700, an increase of $500 from last year for the Old Time Fiddler's Fest.
The Mason County Forest Festival applied for $5,000, and SOCK made another application for a relatively new program, the RAPSody Ride, for $500, a decrease of $500 from last year.
The funds can only be used for very specific things, such as advertising for an event, Commissioner Dawn Pannell said.
"I think it's a great thing for the community to use," she said.
While the city approved all of the $40,050 of requests, the city only anticipates $34,000 of Hotel/Motel Tax revenue for 2012.
However, the city has a tourism fund balance of more than $91,000, and will supplement and can supplement the tourism grants from that fund.
"We all know that we have some challenges with regard to the economy," Tarrant said. 'We have really successful programs here."
These grants account for 12 percent to 25 percent of the budgets for each of these organizations, said Commissioner Mike Byrne.
"They're managing their money quite well," he said. "I really applaud those organizations for that kind of funding management."
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