Eleven of 12 members of Aberdeen City Council voted Wednesday night to approve $60,000 in funds collected as lodging tax for several festivals and events designed to bring people to Aberdeen.
The 2014 Five Star Dealerships Splash festival got the biggest share at $25,000.
Alice Phelps, a huge supporter of Splash, the city’s 4th of July festival, was the sole no vote. She was upset because Splash funding was cut from $30,000 to $25,000 of tax revenue. She was reminded by Councilmember Denny Lawrence and Finance Director Kathryn Skolrood that the city agreed put to up the remaining $5,000.
Finance Committee chairman Doug Paling, who is the council’s representative to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, said all requests by applicants were cut in proportionate amounts and no one got the full amount.
Phelps still opposed any cut in Splash’s share, which is usually about half of the all lodging tax proceeds.
Other recipients include Greater Grays Harbor, $10,000; Washington State Powerlifting Tournament, $9,000; Our Aberdeen Art Promotion Committee, $5,500; Aberdeen Revitalization Movement, $5,000; Founder’s Day Parade Committee (through ARM), $3,250 and the Midnight Cruizers Car Show, $2,250. Awards totaled $60,000.
Recently, the city has awarded $60,000 a year. Applicants for funding apply in September and the lodging committee then meets in October to divvy the money up. Last year, the committee could not meet until 2014, so the city put up the money for Splash so Parks and Recreation could hire the vendors who require deposits well in advance.
The committee will reimburse the city for $25,000 of the $30,000 outlay. Lawrence, Phelps and some other members think all of the money for Splash should come out of lodging tax funds.
The city gets two percent of the five percent state tax, the county gets the remaining three.