The Budget Committee, appointed to review the city of Astoria budget prepared by Paul Benoit, city manager, and his staff, has adopted a set-aside fund, proposed by member Richard Hurley, for support of art, cultural and heritage activities and organizations. In this effort, the committee has shown foresight and vision.
The monies to be set aside for distribution through an application process are part of the hotel taxes paid by visitors, and are required by state law to be used for the promotion of tourism. Historically, the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce has been the organization with primary responsibility for spending these hotel tax dollars to bring visitors to stay and play in our beautiful spot.
This movement to set aside hotel tax monies for the use of artistic, heritage and cultural activities and organizations shows a clear understanding that support of efforts, such as the Open Studio Tour and the Fisher Poets Gathering, as well as the stabilization and marketing efforts of groups such as the North Coast Chorale and Symphonic Band, can also be strong economic drivers and bring in tourist dollars.
Many thanks to Richard Hurley and his colleagues on the Budget Committee for this valuable step forward in the growth and economic health of our community. I would like to encourage all those with an interest in the application process and guidelines for the distribution and use of these set-aside funds to watch for the announcement of a meeting of the Budget