By Dee Camp
OKANOGAN - The city will have less money to spend on tourism promotion in 2013 than in previous years.
Mayor Michael Blake said the city received more than $16,300 in requests for hotel-motel tax money, but probably will only have $12,000-$12,800 available.
Groups requesting funding made pitches to the City Council during its Oct. 16 meeting.
The city funded $14,758 worth of requests in 2012, but will receive an estimated $8,700 in hotel-motel tax revenue. The difference is coming from the fund’s reserve.
“We probably would need to cut requests in half,” Blake said.
Funding requests came from the Okanogan Visitor Information Center, $3,828.91 for two minimum-wage workers to staff the center, located in the Okanogan County Historical Museum; Okanogan Chamber of Commerce, $3,753 to promote its three festivals, pay for event insurance and maintain its website; The Chronicle, $3,218 for city advertising in several tourist-related publications; Okanogan County Historical Museum, $5,000; Okanogan County Tourism Council, 10 percent of city hotel-motel tax income; Okanogan County Historical Society, no amount specified; Autumn Leaf Run, no amount specified; Okanogan-Ferry County Pilots Association, $500 toward a booth at the Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show.
The city also anticipates keeping a portion of the tax for its projects.
In other business, the council:
-Set the property tax rate for 2013. It includes a 1 percent increase, from $275,585 city-wide to $279,471.
The owner of property assessed at $100,000 would pay $262, or $3.50 more in 2013 than this year.
The increase passed on a 4-2 vote, with council members Wayne Turner, Denise Varner, Jerry Paul and Janet Wilson voting yes, and Ken Thompson and Lisa Bauer voting no. Jon Culp was absent.
-Accepted the bid of Whitley Fuel, Okanogan, to supply petroleum products in 2013.
-Reviewed the six-year transportation plan.