Council approves $145,000 to fund tourism-related activities

ARLINGTON – The City Council on Monday approved $145,000 for tourism-related projects that will support the annual Fly-In, enrich the arts community, expand summer music in Arlington, and support annual chamber and downtown business events.

In all, 20 applications were submitted totaling $230,995. The city had $145,000 to award in lodging tax distributions.

The committee’s decision considered factors such as meeting council priorities, overall rating, attendance, community events, free event, funding marketing activities and events that attract out-of-town visitors.

In instances where organizations such as the Stilly Valley Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Arlington Business Association and Arlington Arts Council sought funding for multiple events or projects, those were applied for separately.

The following recipients were funded:

* $25,729, Arlington Fly-In

* $20,500, Chamber of Commerce, Visitor Information Center; $5,000, 4th of July Grand Parade; $4,026, Harvest Festival

* $15,000, Arlington for downtown tree lighting power project ; $12,045, for summer outdoor recreation series ; $6,700, for Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival

* $10,000, Arts Council, Legends of the Blues VII; $3,000, Art in Legion Park

* $9,000, Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society for Northwest Genealogy Conference

* $8,000, DABA tourism brochures ; $7,000, Hometown Holidays; $7,000, Downtown Arlington Show & Shine ; $3,500, Arlington Street Fair

* $6,000, Centennial Sk8 Fest 

* $1,500, B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County for McClinchy Mile Bike Ride 

* $1,000, Visitor Services Program for Snohomish County Tourism Bureau

The genealogical society was not fully funded since the committee felt that the event has existed long enough to be more self-sufficient and has other funding opportunities to tap. The chamber requested $20,000 more than in past years. The money would have funded a part-time employee, but the city has said it would not fund personnel costs.

The lodging tax totals are based on revenues from the 2 percent state tax on lodging. The tax is charged for periods of less than 30 consecutive days for hotels, motels, private campgrounds and similar facilities.

The council also: 

* Authorized a purchase and sale agreement for a half-acre portion of the city-owned York property in Smokey Point, and a related rezone. The property, part of the 1.7-acre York Park property at 3209 180th St. bought by the city in 2000, was listed at $195,000. The city received a cash offer from Grandview North. The city has been selling unused property to generate revenue.

* Approved buying two public art benches for $6,500 to accentuate the Arlington Valley Road project. The new road has a multi-use trail. After a call out to the arts community the winning ideas came from Arlington stone artist Verena Schwippert. She is the artist behind two art pieces that are fixtures on the Arlington Art Walk, “Waterline” and “Salmon Spawning Pool Bench.” With funds from the Fall into Art Auction last October, the Arlington Arts Council is considering more bench art for other locations, including Airport Boulevard and Smokey Point.

* After a public hearing, the council adopted a package of budget amendments totaling $9.3 million. The amendments are related to transferring ending fund balances in the general fund, capital outlay funds to new or restructured accounts, and repaying interfund loans. The ordinance also transfers operating money to related reserve funds.

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Sue Weiss, 60
                                Work: Retired accountant, City Council
                                Education: Associates degree in Respiratory Therapy, Certificate of Municipal Leadership through Association of Wash. Cities.
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