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Tourism committee examines annual grant applications

Thursday, November 8, 2012

There's a saying that money makes the world go 'round. For Marshall events drawing tourists, organizations feel that's the case.

Funding was the focus for affiliates of the Marshall-Saline Development Corporation Tourism Committee when they met Wednesday afternoon to review grant applications.

This year, more grant funding was requested by 14 different groups than in the past few years, totaling approximately $125,000.

That is largely attributed to four organizations each seeking more than $15,000.

While one hopes to establish billboards on Interstate 70 for three to six months, others are seeking funds for advertising one and two-page spreads in high-circulation magazines.

But little things add up too.

Mirroring past years, several groups asked for funds that committee members now questioned the fairness of.

A roughly $4,000 request for website redevelopment may not be recommended to Marshall Tourism Commission.

"I (feel) that might be someone else's responsibility," said affiliate member Cynthia Crawford.

Additionally, another group has a request to fund a majority of its annual event. Although the event draws anywhere from 300-500 visitors, some committee members felt the event has matured and should be able to better support itself.

A main reason for the close inspection of applications is the commission's desire to have a cushion of funding available for 2013.

This past year, funds were over-granted and some of that unused money will be returning to the pool. The commission is now hoping to only grant $65,000 instead of the more than $80,000 it typically doles out.

Decisions made during the committee's Wednesday workshop will act as recommendations only, and the commission holds the final say in what is granted to applicants. Marshall Tourism Commission will meet before the end of the year to evaluate applications and award funds.

Contact Sarah Reed at

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