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Sunnyside City Council OK's $80,000 for tourism promotions

The Sunnyside City Council approved the recommendations of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee at last night's council meeting. The move will give $80,000 to four groups in Sunnyside promoting tourism.

The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee makes recommendations on how to spend a 4 percent tax on lodging in Sunnyside that can only be used for tourism purposes.

Five proposals were received by the committee on Oct. 16 and based on the merit of each proposal, the committee members recommended funding for four of the five proposals.

The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce asked for $35,000 to fund the advertising of events in the city. The chamber was granted its request. The chamber also asked for $33,000 to fund the operation of a tourism promotion facility. The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee approved $26,000 for this request, which was approved by Council.

The Port of Sunnyside asked the committee for $18,000 to build an information kiosk in front of the Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge off exit 67 on South First Street.

The kiosk will have a map of the city of Sunnyside showing city parks, public buildings, ATM machines, motels, RV dumps, grocery stores and other points of interest for tourists. The tax committee approved the $18,000, as did Council.

The Silver Dollar Grassroots Cribbage Club asked for $2,000 from the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee for help advertise three cribbage tournaments in Sunnyside. These events are sanctioned by the American Cribbage Congress.

The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, as well as Council, decided on giving the group $500 for advertising.

The Spring Fling Festival Organization asked for $1,000 but the committee decided against giving any money to this group at this time.

There is approximately $103,000 in unreserved tourism funds the city currently has access to, and staff anticipates 2008 revenues to be approximately $80,000.

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