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Tourism board to seek $75K
Katie Kemezis

A continued effort to promote tourism within the city of McMinnville could cost $75,000.

The Tourism Development Board will be seeking that amount from city officials when they meet to consider financial allocations for fiscal year 2020-21. A request of $75,000 was unanimously approved by TDB members Christy Ross, Mandy Eller, Katie Kemezis, John Partin and Mayor Ben Newman.

That dollar amount is what the board believes will be generated in revenue from a hotel tax and designated by the city to TDB activities. No property tax dollars are being requested this year. 

“Do we think the revenue will come in at the same amount?” asked Newman. 

Eller said, “Our budget was $70,000 last year. I kicked it up a little bit. I believe it’s expected to be around $82,000 this year, but I wanted to be conservative.” 

A new hotel is being constructed on Sparta Street across from Saint Thomas River Park Hospital. When it begins operations, the hotel tax revenue is expected to increase. However, a potential increase was not factored into this request.

“It’s going to take time to get it up and going,” said Kemezis. “I don’t think we will see anything in this fiscal year.”

Ross added, “It looks to me like they have just started construction on the retail portion of the project.” 

According to the request, the monies will be spent in the following areas: $35,000 for administration, $30,000 for grant expenses, $10,000 for public relations projects, and $10,000 for consulting, appraisals, and surveying of potential tourism assets. 

TDB has a $101,110 cash balance at this time.

McMinnville government’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30. Officials should begin discussing the 2020-21 fiscal year budget in the next couple months.