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Council reviews tourism grant recommendations


November 29, 2017 | View PDF

At this Monday’s workshop meeting, Arlington City Council was scheduled to review the proposed lodging tax distributions for 2018.

Finance Director Kristin Garcia explained the process and the rational of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, which includes Council representative Jesica Stickles, Chamber Director Jennifer Egger, Matthew Rosenthal, representing Best Western Hotel, Kwang (Thomas) H. So, from Medallion Hotel, and Erik Granroth, representing the Arlington Rotary Club.

They reviewed 21 grant applications for a total of $187,395.

The city budgeted $170,000 to be awarded in 2018, Garcia explained in council documents. Applicants have to cover at least 33 percent of the project costs and the city funds a maximum of 66 percent. Based on a scoring sheet considering the numbers of people the events attract and overnight stays, members of the LTAC rated each application and those with a score of 60 or less received 90 percent of funding until the $170,000 was distributed, Garcia said.

Applicants that were recommended for full funding include several projects presented by the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce: $19,800 to run the Visitor Information Center; $7,430 for advertising in the Cascade Loop magazine; $6,100 for a skate fest; $5,000 for the Fourth of July Grand Parade and $3,000 for a quilt trail; and f approved by council next week, the city of Arlington will be funded on four different projects, including $12,400 for a stage in Legion Park; $5,200 for Arlington’s Stillaguamish Eagle Festival; $7,900 for summer outdoor entertainment; $1,485 for a new kiosk in front of City Hall and $590 for rental of the Arlington Art Walk signs on I-5 and SR 530 payable to WSDOT.

The Arlington Fly-In would receive $26,000 and the SVGS would receive $35,400 for its three-day genealogy conference at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center. The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society received partial funding, after the committee decided that equipment, social activities and promotional “give away” items were not critical to the success of the event nor tie directly with tourism promotion.

The Downtown Arlington Business Association, withdrew its request for funding of the Viking Fest, and was recommended for $6,500 for its Show-n-Shine car show, $5,000 for Hometown Holidays, $3,500 for the Arlington Street Fair, and $4,950 toward a brochure.

The Arlington Arts Council will receive $3,000 for Art in Legion Park and $10,692, for its annual Legends of the Blues concert.

The Stillaguamish Pioneer Association was approved for $3,803 toward their request for $5,500.

In a new process adopted this year, applicants were encouraged to attend a training session and faced in-person interviews with the committee, as well.

Rate adjustments

Public Works department is proposing updates to Arlington Municipal Code (AMC) with utility rate adjustments for multi-family and commercial accounts.

A utility billing analysis in 2015/2016 evaluated the cost of providing water and wastewater services to three classes of customers: single family residential (SFR); multi-family residential (MFR), and commercial entities (COM), to assure equity to all of Arlington’s utility customers, said Public Works Director Jim Kelly in council documents.

Based on the analysis, Public Works proposes maintaining the current 2017 rates for 2018 for all customer classes, with a modification of the water and sewer billing structure for multi-family residential services.

The proposed modification will eliminate the base charge that is currently charged to every apartment unit and charge according to meter readings.

For commercial services, the modification will eliminate the individual base charge for all metered water consumption, including leased or sub-leased units within the commercial building. The commercial monthly sewer rate structure remains unchanged and there are no proposed changes to the SFR billing structure.

At this Monday’s meeting, Garcia was also scheduled to present the October 2017 Financial Report when the general fund ended with a balance of $2,691,605.

Garcia explained that the fund balance will increase in November when property taxes are received and will decrease again in December when the bulk of debt payments are made.

The city received $388,029 in sales tax revenue in October and are at 92 percent of the 2017 budget.


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