Oberlin city council approves 2017 Bed Tax Grant awards for local organziations

By Scott Mahoney - smahoney@civitasmedia.com




Nearly $10,000 in Bed Tax Promotion Grant Awards were approved by city council on March 6 to promote events that will bring visitors to Oberlin.

“This is the second year (in a row) that there have been fewer people and the requesting of less money,” councilman Scott Broadwell said. “We were able to look at the amounts requested and, for the most part, were able to meet the requests of the various organizations.”

Six organizations applied for the grant, according to a letter from Oberlin Business Partnership executive director Janet Haar to city manager Rob Hillard. The Promotions Grant Selection Committee — which included Broadwell, councilman Kelley Singleton, Leo Braido, Larry Funk, and Haar — met in February at the OBP office, reviewed the applications, and agreed on the funding recommendations.

The six applications requested a total of $10,950.

“We used an objective scoring system and considered the qualifications of each request, as well as the potential economic impact of each event or project submitted,” Haar said in the letter to Hillard. “We also looked at whether the organization used a collaborative approach in their promotions activities — i.e. worked with other people or organizations in Oberlin to broaden the economic impact of their event or project.”

The committee recommended $8,900 be awarded among the six applicants.

“The committee unanimously agreed that two of the submissions did not provide adequate justification for the amount of funding they requested, or that funding was requested for activities or items that did not qualify through the bed tax grant,” Haar said. “The committee agreed that OBP should formally apply for the remaining $1,100 to support specific projects for promotions funds.”

• The Oberlin Summer Theater Festival was granted $3,000 for printing and mailing full-color brochures.

• The Oberlin Heritage Center was awarded $500 for the design and printing of adult tour and outreach brochures, Facebook ads, postage, and envelopes for brochure mailings.

• Slowik Music Institute was awarded $1,500 to promote the Credo Festival.

• Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras was awarded $700 to help market its Summer Symphony.

• Family Promise of Lorain County was awarded $200 to support the printing and postage to promote a jazz concert fundraiser.

• OBP was awarded $3,000 to promote attendance at two themed shopping bazaars in downtown Oberlin.

The applicants were granted all the funds asked for except for OBP, which asked for $4,000, Slowik Music, which asked for $2,000; and Family Promise of Lorain County, which asked for $750.

Now that council has approved the committee’s recommendations, OBP will send the required invoice to the city and, once it receives the funds, will distribute the awards to the applicants.

Scott Mahoney can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @sm_mahoney on Twitter.



By Scott Mahoney