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TDA makes funding decisions for Haywood zip codes

TDA makes funding decisions for Haywood zip codes

After receiving recommendations from the 1 percent subcommittees, the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority has made final decisions on which projects will receive grant funding.

Maggie Valley has about $89,000 available in the 1 percent fund to allocate for projects and the TDA received about $150,000 worth of grant requests.

The town of Maggie Valley asked for $5,000 to amp up its Fourth of July fireworks celebration; $10,000 for Miss Maggie public art statues; $20,000 for Mary Rathbone Rich Park; and $18,000 for a temporary ice-skating rink.

The TDA board didn’t approve any funding for Rathbone Rich Park or for the Miss Maggie statues, but did OK the $5,000 to amp up the fireworks and $28,500 to pay for the ice-skating rink and add additional components to the project.

“The ice-skating project been a football thrown around for close to 10 years,” said TDA Chairman Lyndon Lowe, owner of Twinbrook Cabins and RVs in Maggie Valley. “We decided that they needed to move forward and give it the best shot possible.”

The Maggie Valley Co-op — a marketing collaboration between the town, Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce and Maggie Valley Hospitality Plus — was approved for $55,000.

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The Waynesville zip codes have about $43,000 available in 1 percent funding pool, but organizations made $126,000 worth of funding requests.

The Frog Level Merchant’s Association requested $8,750 for the Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival and received $3,000.

The Waynesville Public Arts Commission requested $10,000 toward the Plott Hound public art statue project, but was only approved for $5,000.

The Waynesville co-op — a marketing collaboration between the Haywood Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Waynesville Association, Waynesville Gallery Association, Folkmoot and Visions Waynesville — received $19,600 of its $47,388 request.

The DWA requested $2,905 for the Appalachian Lifestyles Festival; $16,650 for directional and public parking signage; $1,825 for street dances; $5,450 for Winter Smokies Style and $3,432 to revamp DWA’s website. The TDA approved the entire request for Appalachian Lifestyles and a new DWA website; $1,325 for street dances and $4,000 for Winter Smokies Style. The TDA didn’t fund the request for directional signing because $25,000 is coming out of the countywide 3-percent fund to begin a wayfinding project throughout the county.

Leap Frog Tours requested $2,600 for marketing materials and promotional items throughout the county, but the request will come out of the Waynesville co-op money.

The Mountaineer newspaper’s request for $26,400 to use toward an “Experience Waynesville” co-op advertising project was denied. The funding would have been used for a digital marketing campaign to increase winter, mid-week overnight stays and day trips through The Mountaineer’s websites and social media outlets.

Lake Junalsuka received $6,155 of its $13,500 request for its Fourth of July celebration.

Folkmoot USA requested $12,000 from the 1 percent fund to put toward the purchase of a 60-by-90-foot tension tent, but the TDA referred it back to the 3 percent fund. Folkmoot Executive Director Angie Schwab told the board she was looking for community partners to share the cost of the $33,000 tent.

Due to a last-minute venue cancellation this summer, Folkmoot had to change plans for its opening gala. Instead of holding it at Eagle Nest in Maggie Valley, Folkmoot had to pay an unexpected $9,000 to rent a tent to hold the gala outside the Folkmoot Center in Hazelwood. Schwab said Folkmoot intends to keep the gala at the same location next year and also use the tent for other year-round programming at the center.

Schwab’s proposal was to allow other organizations to use the tent at a discounted rate for contributing to its purchase. It still costs about $1,000 or more for a crew to set up the massive tent. The life expectancy for the tent is about 10 years.

TDA Chairman Lyndon Lowe said the board would have to take more money from the fund balance to fund the tent in the current budget and asked if Folkmoot could wait for the next budget cycle.

“For us to get ahead and market the festival, it’s hard to wait for the spring — I’ll do whatever you suggest, but it’s better for us to order the tent now,” Schwab said.

The board referred the issue back to the finance committee for January.

Lastly, the TDA board approved a reallocation for The Strand at 38 Main in downtown Waynesville. The TDA previously approved $5,000 for The Strand to use for its live music events, but The Strand is now unable to host live music events. Ironically, the TDA also approved about $4,000 last year for The Strand to install a new projector system that could show first-run digital movies and now movie licensing giants like Disney and Sony have informed owners of the theater that they can’t host live concerts and run their movies. The Strand then asked for the $5,000 to be reallocated to put toward the cost of installing permanent theater seating in the venue.

A couple of TDA board members had a problem with paying for capital projects for a private business, but approved the reallocation in the end. Lowe said the finance committee also had a long discussion about the issue and decided to recommend approval even though it would not even be considered if it weren’t a reallocation of funds already awarded.

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