SIDNEY — The tabled grant requests of the Sidney Lodging Tax’s 2020 annual budget were revisited for further discussion during a special meeting held on Oct. 29.
The purpose of the Oct. 3 meeting was to consider, according to the provisions outlined in the Lodging Tax Distribution Policy, grant-eligible activity applications that were received for the 2020 annual budget. The committee considered recommending Sidney City Council to approve some of the requests, but others were turned down or tabled, pending further information.
Committee members felt a discussion with all of City Council members was needed before funding decisions could be made on some larger dollar request amounts.
When committee members reconvened at the Oct. 29 meeting, they decided to reduce the amount of the Sidney Bicentennial Celebration’s grant to $20,000 from the $40,000 requested. On Oct. 3, the committee tabled part of the Bicentennial Celebration’s request until more information was provided about certain events during the celebration. Members initially approved $10,000 of the $40,000. The money will fund the opening ceremony, the Tree City USA celebration, the Charter Days celebration and for the purchase of trees to be dedicated and planted at city schools, but not a“fly-in” planned as part of the celebration.
After further discussion with council members, the committee decided not to fund the Sidney Shultz’s Battery Park sculpture grouping request for $30,000. Initially the committee had agreed to fund $15,000 and have the remaining amount be raised privately, but members decided the request could be funded next year instead.
The committee also decided not to fund the request to purchase the Sidney Big Four Passenger Station for $50,000. Members spoke about obtaining the station, at the earlier October meeting, to preserve its history in Sidney. At the Oct. 29 meeting, City Manager Mark Cundiff pointed out any other property purchased by the city is usually carefully considered by council over time and then is included in the city’s five-year plan. He also noted not a lot of the details involved with buying the property is known, nor has an appraisal been completed to know what the renovation may include. In the end the committee felt it was a topic to discuss next year during City Council’s retreat.
The full recommendation will be presented to City Council for the distribution of lodge tax funds.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.