Tax board reviews funding for various area projects
|Attendees at the Sunnyside Daze car show view the various vehicles that are displayed. Officials from the town were at the Restaurant Tax Committee meeting on Tuesday to ask for funds for the festival.|
The Carbon County Restaurant Tax Advisory Board met Tuesday night to review applications from local communities. Applications totaled $142,200, coming in from Carbon County, Sunnyside, East Carbon and Scofield.
Carbon County requested for an amount between $80,000 and $100,000 toward completing improvements at the Carbon County Fairgrounds, including the motocross track and ballfields.
"We could use this money immediately," said Commissioner Mike Milovich. With projects near completion, the county is looking to finish this year, with most of the money going toward equipment and labor.
East Carbon made a request for $4,450 to be used in conjunction with Community Daze. Normally, East Carbon has asked for $500 toward advertising, but this year, the city is looking to make improvements to parks in both East Carbon and Sunnyside. If granted, money would go toward sand at Sunnyside Park and a retaining wall for East Carbon Park, with the normal $500 toward advertising.
Community Daze is a shared event between Sunnyside and East Carbon, featuring a car show. The two cities alternate hosting the event, and use Sunnyside Park for many of the associated activities.
"I believe that's the biggest car show Carbon County has, and the best known," commented board member Harvey Howard. "Other car shows in the area have come and gone, but this is something that has stayed pretty consistent, and attracts a lot of cars from all over the place. It's a prestigious car show to be at and win."
The small community of Sunnyside made the second-largest request, totalling $24,000 in improvements to the city's park. Funding would benefit the annual Community Daze as well as the park's regular users.
"The electrical system in the pavilion is not substantial to hold enough vendors," explained Doug Parsons, who presented for the city. In addition to increasing power output, the city hopes to make improvements for access for those with disabilities.
This would be the first of three or four phases. The final result would make the park more accessible, and group vendors in an area where less disruption would be made to events.
"The big cost is the electrical system and sidewalk," explained Parsons. Additional phases would benefit from the work done in phase one.
Scofield requested $3,600 for use with Pleasant Valley Days. The cost would cover the cost of fireworks. Any amount the board grants would offset that. The offset amount would go toward improving the town park. Improvements need to be made in the cooking area by adding a floor drain, upgrading cabinets to stainless steel and adding a cement pad outside the cooking area.
Rhonda Peterson represented the Carbon County Fair and Rodeo in a request for $7,500. Last year, the fair requested $15,000, but received $7,500.
Board member Glen Watts asked if the fair should consider other activities that might generate more revenue.
"Are we getting the bang for the buck?" asked Watts. "I'm a rodeo fan, don't get me wrong. But I wonder if maybe we don't need to be looking at different venues. You know, they have the demolition derby out there, and you can't get within 100 miles of the place. And we're sitting her subsidizing the rodeo to the tune of $5,000."
Howard suggested that if fair organizers placed some focus on the rock garden, that could be one area that develops to a major attraction within a couple of years.
Peterson also represented Carbon County by requesting $2,500 toward fireworks for Independence Day. The balance of $2,400 has been contributed by the Kwanis Club, incorporated cities and the county.
Howard suggested looking at corporate sponsorships to offset some of the cost.
Each year, between $125,000 and $150,000 is available through restaurant taxes. The county tries to set aside some of that from one year to the next. The restaurant tax board makes a recommendation to the county commission, which makes the final decision.