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Village Vision News

Some special interest groups receive additional funding

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For a second consecutive year, the Board approved increases in the funding provided by Forsyth’s hotel/motel taxes that goes to special interest groups. This year, the Board increased funding to two of the five groups making their annual requests and also granted a first-time request from Macon County Fair for $1,000. A total of $90,500 will be divided among all six groups. State law requires the reinvestment of hotel/motel taxes in tourism efforts.

Following motions by trustee Steve Hubbard, trustees voted unanimously to grant an additional $5,000 this year to the Futures Charity Golf Classic, bringing its total to $15,000. Last year, funding for this group was boosted to $10,000 following its original request of $5,650. Decatur Celebration will receive $10,000, an increase of $1,000 from the previous year. No funding increases were requested from the other groups, and the vote was unanimous to grant the following amounts:

  • Decatur Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, $60,000
  • Rodney Miller Triathlon, $2,500
  • Lakeside Music & Arts Festival, $2,000.

“The increases we’ve seen over the past couple of years show that the Board recognizes that there is an opportunity to use hotel/motel monies to bring visitors to the Forsyth area,” said Mayor Hap Gilbert.

Organizers of the special interest groups say these events make an economic impact on the Village by generating additional tourism business as evidenced by visitors spending money at Forsyth restaurants, gasoline stations, retail businesses and on overnight stays in its four hotels/motels.

Trustees also approved additional funding requests with monies to be taken from the Village’s general fund:

  • Economic Development Corporation of Decatur Macon County (EDC), $17,550 (quarterly payments)
  • Maroa-Forsyth High School post prom committee, $1,200
  • Warrensburg-Latham High School post prom committee, $250
  • Decatur Park District Special Recreation Association (SRA), $5,000

General funds have been used since 2002 to support the EDC, which is designed to strengthen the entire business climate within the area by developing new jobs, bringing work into the area by filling warehouses and introducing new industry. Post prom committees from both high schools have received monies from the same fund since 2001. Forsyth has participated in the SRA since 1996 when the Village signed an intergovernmental agreement with the Decatur Park District in support of a program which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities living within the area. Approximately 25 Forsyth residents are presently involved in the program, which offers year-round activities.

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