Newport Tourism Facility Task Force takes first swing at how to dole out a million dolllars for new tourism facilities.
Newport’s Tourism Facilities Task Force, made up of interested residents and business people, have begun devising criteria on how to award part of a million dollar fund to help pay for new tourism facilities. The fund was created by siphoning off money for several years from city room tax collections. That fund has sat dormant since 2007. But now, appointed by the city council, the task force will soon be calling for funding applications from government agencies and non-profit groups who want to build such facilities to help bolster Newport’s tourism-based economy.
Today’s discussion revealed that there are already requests for some of those funds by the Oregon Coast Aquarium, one from those who want to build an aquatic park, a request from the Maritime Museum, and another from Lincoln County for help in building a multi-purpose facility at the fairgrounds. Suddenly the million dollar fund looks a bit overwhelmed without any additional applicants. But the task force spent nearly two hours wrestling with details on how to ensure that the most worthy projects are funded, projects that will substantially boost tourism benefits to the community.
The committee tossed around a number of specific criteria, aimed at separating the wheat from the chaffe, and agreed to meet again September 1st and 8th to refine their review criteria and then have it checked and ratified by the city council. Once that’s done, organizations that want to apply for part of the million dollars could then formally apply. The deadline to have applications in appears to be October 31st.