Only spend half
Electric City’s council decided last Tuesday night to stick with its policy, at least for now, on how it spends its hotel/motel tax revenues.
Its current policy puts half of its hotel/motel revenues in a reserve fund and makes the other half available to promote the area. Currently, the city has $245,416 in its hotel/motel reserve fund.
Using 2012 figures, and the amount budgeted by the city for this year, that will put $34,400 into the reserve fund and make the same amount available for promotion purposes.
Going into the promotion budget for 2014 is $5,300 for the Ridge Riders to help them promote the Colorama Rodeo and other events; $6,000 for the Coulee Area Parks and Recreation District, to help with North Dam Park; and $23,100 to the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce for advertising and promotion.
The chamber had asked for $32,000, and had the support of at least one person, Steve Salstrom, who attended the council meeting and asked members to support the full amount the chamber requested.
It was noted in discussion that if the council chooses to provide the requested amount, it could pass a budget amendment next year.
Cities that collect hotel/motel taxes are also being pressured by a new proposal that all the funds be channeled through a tourism board that could hire an advertising professional to plan the use of the money.