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Local groups seek TOT funds

Community groups seeking Community Enhancement funds from the County of San Diego’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue offered their reasons June 14-15 at a designated San Diego County Board of Supervisors hearing.

Each county supervisor has a $500,000 Community Enhancement budget and will decide how much of his or her budget will be given to each group requesting funds. Although the revenue is derived only from TOT money collected from lodging facilities in the unincorporated portion of the county, organizations in incorporated cities are also eligible for funding.

Most organizations will receive less than the amount they requested. The money is not based on the previous year’s allocation, and there are no adverse consequences of asking for more money than will be granted. Each county supervisor also has a $2 million discretionary Community Projects budget, which will be reduced to $1 million for Fiscal Year 2010-11, so some Community Enhancement requests can be fulfilled by that source.

The county supervisors will begin deliberations on the budget, including the Community Enhancement allocations, June 29.

Last year the Bonsall Chamber of Commerce requested $35,000 of 2009-10 TOT revenue and was allocated $10,000. This year the chamber has requested $22,000. The chamber seeks $16,000 for office operations, $3,000 for the Bonsall Country Festival, $2,000 for the River Village Wine, Dine and Art Walk, and $1,000 to produce a printed version of the Bonsall Business Directory.

The Camp Pendleton Historical Society, which did not seek Community Enhancement funding last year, requested $25,000 for restoration of the Las Flores Adobe National Historic Landmark to help return the facility to its 1942 condition when the property was acquired by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Fallbrook Area Visitors Bureau requested $65,000 for 2009-10 and received $5,000. The visitors bureau has once again requested $65,000. That money would fund $30,000 for a special event coordinator position, $20,000 for print, radio, Internet, graphics, and marketing consultant fees, and $15,000 for its Website, posters, social media, newsletters, fliers, banners, and postcards.

The Fallbrook Art Association, which received $14,500 of its $17,500 request last year, desires $15,100 based on $10,000 for a spring open juried show and a fall open judged show, $1,800 for nine public art demonstrations, $1,800 for nine one-day art workshops, and $1,500 for 35 to 40 class sessions at Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School.

Fallbrook/Bonsall Rally for Children received $3,000 of its $10,000 request for 2009-10. This year the group has asked for $10,500. The funding would allow $3,500 for materials for “hands-on” arts and crafts experiences, $2,500 for paid performers, $2,000 for the Art of Science program, $1,500 to provide transportation to and from events, and $1,000 for portable toilets, fliers, and ranger pay.

Fallbrook Center for the Arts, Inc. requested $100,416 for 2009-10 and received $45,000 of Community Enhancement funding along with $55,000 of Community Projects funds. This year’s $90,000 request would fund $29,000 for postcards, class brochures, stationery, flyers, media advertising, postage, distribution services, window displays and signage, $25,000 to maintain and update the gallery’s lighting, $20,000 to relocate the air conditioner condensers and evaporators, $10,000 for general support for the visitors bureau, and $8,000 for website design and maintenance.

In 2009 the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce received $85,000 of its $281,000 request. The chamber’s $185,000 request for 2010-11 would provide $75,000 for business and economic development, $45,000 for community support with emphasis on emergency assistance, $25,000 for the Avocado Festival, $25,000 for the Christmas Parade, and $15,000 for operations to attract tourists including street maps and tourism guides, website information, and outreach programs.

The Fallbrook Food Pantry, which requested $47,000 of 2009-10 Community Enhancement funding but did not receive money from that source, seeks $35,000 consisting of $24,600 to purchase fresh and/or powdered milk for every family with children in the Fallbrook area and $10,400 for weekly rental of a large truck to deliver food to Fallbrook from various San Diego food banks.

The Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society requested $4,000 and received $3,000 last year, and desires $5,000 of 2010-11 TOT revenue for exterior maintenance and repair of the society’s museum building.

The Fallbrook Historical Society received the entirety of its $2,250 request last year. This year the historical society asked for $2,600 which would provide $1,000 for a community-compatible sign on South Mission Road and Rocky Crest Road, $1,000 to purchase mannequins to display vintage clothing, and $600 for a brochure for the rock and mineral exhibit.

The Live Oak Park Coalition, which obtained $5,000 of its $21,000 request for 2009-10, once again asked for $21,000 which would fund construction of the new outdoor amphitheater.

The Live Oak #1166 Questers, which last year asked for $3,000 and received $2,000, asked for $2,500 of 2010-11 funds to continue restoration of the kitchen area.

Four Fallbrook organizations that sought 2009-10 funds did not apply for 2010-11 funding: the Fallbrook Land Conservancy Foundation, the Fallbrook Music Society, the Reche Community Club, and REINS.

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