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City council hears tourism requests

 


The chamber of commerce and Ridge Riders Saddle Club each made a pitch for more hotel/motel tax money at the Electric City council meeting last Tuesday night.

Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Peggy Nevsimal had earlier asked for another $10,000, just to match what the chamber was given by the city for 2014 operations. She asked for the $10,000 again Tuesday and pointed out that it was urgent that the city act on the request so marketing issues for the remainder of 2015 could be addressed.

The chamber was coming off probably the most successful Colorama weekend ever.

George Kohout, president of the Ridge Riders, also made his pitch for an additional grant of $5,000. The Ridge Riders had a very successful turnout for its Colorama Rodeo.

Nevsimal and Kohout both pointed out to council members that a strong advertising campaign for their events pays off and all the businesses in town benefit from successful advertising campaigns.

Hal Rauch, manager of Coulee Playland, told council members that the “city didn’t earn” the hotel/motel tax dollars, and that the money should be used for its original purpose.

Mayor John Nordine said he is following procedure and referring the requests to the council committee of two — Councilmember Marie Chuinard and newly appointed Councilmember Richard McBride — to meet and come up with a recommendation for the full council.

However, Chuinard has health issues and Nordine late last week assigned Councilmember Brad Parrish to take her place on the committee.

Parrish and McBride were scheduled to meet last Thursday and will have a recommendation for the full council at its next meeting, June 9.

The city has $285,000 in its hotel/motel tax fund and realizes about $60,000 a year in hotel/motel tax revenue returned to the city from Sunbanks Lake Resort, Coulee Playland and the Skydeck Motel. Such funds are to be spent on growing tourism, under state law.

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