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Marysville City Council votes for full funding for hotel/motel tax grant applicants
MARYSVILLE — The Marysville City Council voted Sept. 14 to fully fund all applicants for the city's 2009 hotel/motel tax grants, at the same time that it resolved to reopen applications for the hotel/motel tax grants from Sept. 23-30.
This year's applicants included Maryfest, the Marysville Historical Society, the city of Marysville and its street department, the Marysville Police Department, the Marysville Dog Owners Group and the Northwest Agriculture Business Center. The groups' combined requested amount was $84,1308.05, but the city's Hotel/Motel Tax Committee recommended that this total amount be reduced to $70,259, with those reductions coming from the city of Marysville and its streets department, and the Marysville Police Department.
City of Marysville Finance Director Sandy Langdon estimated that the hotel/motel tax fund will have $145,000 by the year's end. When the unspent, non-earmarked portions of last year's hotel/motel tax fund are added to that figure, Langdon estimated that the total number would increase to $160,000. The City Council made its decision to fully fund all applicants for this year's hotel/motel tax grants after it was informed that enough money would still be left over in the fund to cover the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce's expected grant application of approximately $18,000, if the Hotel/Motel Tax Committee recommends it and the City Council votes for it.
Maryfest requested $15,000 to help cover the costs of this year's Strawberry Festival, which include live television and radio coverage, and advertising in regional papers and other media.
"This brings people into the city," Angie Miller of Maryfest wrote in the grant application. "They stay in hotels in Marysville and Everett and eat in our restaurants. They buy our food and tour our city and visit our businesses. This brings money to our city and community."
The Marysville Historical Society requested $18,000 to fund a historic carving by Tulalip artist James Madison. Marysville Historical Society President Ken Cage explained that the wooden sculpture will depict the history of the local area, "from before European settlement through modern industrial times." Cage expressed the belief that the carving will become "a point of interest" in both Marysville and the surrounding region.
"The size and scope of the carving will be awe-inspiring and will attract visitors to view the work in progress," Cage wrote in the grant application.
City of Marysville Public Information Officer Doug Buell wrote three grant applications for the city — $5,500 for 4,000 visitors guides, $8,500 for 5,000 Passport to Marysville Parks guides, and $1,200 for a one-third of a page display advertisement in the Snohomish County Visitors Guide. The Hotel/Motel Tax Committee recommended fully funding the visitors guides and Passports to Marysville Parks guides, but also recommended no funding for the ad in the Snohomish County Visitors Guide.
In the grant applications, Buell deemed tourism "an economic development strategy" for Marysville, which he believes the two types of guides can capitalize upon by familiarizing visitors with Marysville's attractive features. As for the Snohomish County Visitors Guide ad, Buell noted that it would promote the city's own visitors guide.
City of Marysville Public Works Operations Manager Terry Hawley filed two grant applications for the city's streets department — $5,024.80 for annual Strawberry Festival streets clean-up, parade day assistance and crowd control, and $3,853.80 for solid waste pick-up and disposal for the Strawberry Festival carnival and parade. The Hotel/Motel Tax Committee had recommended only $2,500 for streets and $1,900 for solid waste.
The Marysville Police Department had two different grant authors — Sgt. Wendy Wade requesting $5,000 for annual motor officer training commission, and Chief Rick Smith requesting $16,199.85 for special community events overtime, the latter of which was only recommended to receive $8,000 by the Hotel/Motel Tax Committee. Wade's grant will go toward hosting the North American Motor Officer Association 2010 Training Conference at the Tulalip Resort Casino and Hotel, which she predicted in the grant application should draw both casual spectators and week-long visitors from as far away as other states and Canada. Smith's grant will go toward the overtime hours incurred by police department personnel assigned to the Strawberry Festival and other tourist events.
M-DOG President Leslie Buell applied for $2,185 to advertise the Marysville Poochapalooza event in various dog and pet-oriented magazines and newsletters, as well as in local newspapers, to draw "both a wider regional and statewide audience" of attendees.
The Northwest Agriculture Business Center applied for $3,674.60 in city of Marysville hotel/motel tax grants, to fund distribution of maps of the farms on state Route 530, collectively known as the "Red Rooster Route." Among the farms on this route are Marysville's Lavender Hills Farm and Biringer Farm. NABC Event Manager Carolyn Eslick wrote in the grant application that the summer farm tour is designed to link rural farm areas to city downtowns through "agri-tourism," which she anticipates will boost the visibility of, and visitor numbers to, smaller acreage farms.