Approval of Chamber of Commerce Grant Contract Greater than $75,000
|Meeting Date:||September 5, 2006||Primary Staff Contact:||Lee Tuneberg|
|Contributing Departments:||NA||Secondary Staff Contact:||NA|
|Estimate Time:||30 minutes|
|Staff Recommendation: |
Staff recommends approval of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce (COC or Chamber) contract for FY 2006-07 per Resolution 2004-32 as presented or revised by Council. Staff further requests that the Council provide direction on the issues and topics that need to be resolved prior to the contract for FY 2007-08.
This contract was submitted to Council on the July 18th Consent Agenda and tabled for additional discussion. In general, Council had questions about compliance with the Living Wage ordinance and concerns about reporting, specifically the level of reporting required of "small" grants as compared to the level needed for the larger amounts awarded by this contract. Some of this information is garnered through the application process for small grants so a copy of the application is attached. Also attached is a sample of the contract used for small grants. The minimum amount granted to them is $1,000 and recipients who receive $2,500 or less do not have to submit a report after monies are used unless they are applying for another grant in the following year or as requested by the city.
Resolution 2004-32 provides for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce to receive grant funding from the Transient Occupancy Tax each budget year through the Economic and Cultural Development grant process. At this time the process includes awarding monies to COC and OSF per the resolution without their having to apply.
The existing contract with COC has been used in the two prior fiscal years with a report on the fist year presented to Council February 7, 2006, and a second report due by January 31, 2007. A report for the work under the contract before Council is due by January 31, 2008. The timing of the report is specified in Resolution 2004-32. Areas included in the contract that were addressed in the first report and should be included in following reports are:
• Retention and Expansion of Existing Business
The City Council adopted the 2006-07 budget which includes grant funds for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce of $247,645 ($82,845 for tourism and $164,800 for economic development).
This is the third year using this contract in conjunction with a resolution that had a three year life. A new resolution will need to be adopted in advance of the FY 2007-08 budget process and ultimately will result in a new contract with the Chamber. New areas of concern may be best if deferred to the next grant year.
Resolution 2004-32 states that beginning in Fiscal Year 2004-05, the City Council will appropriate thirty three and one third percent of the anticipated Transient Occupancy Tax monies for Economic and Cultural Development. The amount to be allocated annually to the Ashland Chamber of Commerce (COC) for promoting tourism per the State definition shall be $80,432, which is adjusted each year by the amount of inflation or deflation established in the Budget process. An additional amount of $160,000, also adjusted each year by the amount of inflation or deflation, will be granted annually to COC for economic development projects in cooperation with City staff.
The minimum amount for City of Ashland required by the State definition for tourism is $215,456 in FY 2006-07. This is calculated on the budgeted amount of Transient Occupancy Tax revenue to be received and also based upon actual money spent in prior years.
The COC tourism amount of $82,845 and the entire $113,300 amount granted to Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) for tourism leaves $19,311 to be spent on tourism by the other grantees to meet the minimum amount required by the State. The other grantees' requests totaled $336,200 with 29% identified for tourism. The amount awarded to them for FY 2006-07 is $148,705. Using the percentage identified in the applications we estimate the other grantees will spend approximately $38,804 on tourism - well above the required minimum.
The last COC report on grant funds was submitted to Council on February 7, 2006, for the grant and fiscal year ended June 30, 2005. That report spoke to each element of the contract. At that meeting Council members agreed that some refinements of the grant goals for COC should be considered as part of the economic development discussion planned for Council. That discussion has not yet occurred and we find ourselves into the grant and contract year without providing any different direction to the Chamber on how its goals should better address Council's own economic development goals.
The Chamber has already indicated that they intend to present a second report (similar to last year's) by January 31, 2007, for the grant and fiscal year just ended. These reports are labor intensive and, like the city's own annual financial report, take time to assemble and present after the year is closed and numbers are audited or reviewed. A last report under this resolution will be due within seven months following the end of fiscal year 2007.
As part of these contract discussions on granting, goals and reporting, Council should keep in mind the timing problem that is inherent with this grant. For example:
Below is a table that shows significant changes in the process for COC over the years. There have been some clarifying or correcting resolutions in between those presented but they are immaterial to this discussion.
Please note that in every process many grantees and budget subcommittee members have struggled with the above. Following is a list of issues relating to most of the applicants:
Single event grants are somewhat easier for reporting as long as the event happens early in the Fiscal Year (FY) such as July - February. For ongoing activities (Chamber, OSF, and many small amount applicants) and those that happen after the new application process has started, there are added problems as listed below:
There is considerable interest in dealing with the many points listed above. Changes in the processes for applying, awarding, utilization or reporting can be significant and may require an appropriate lead time for compliance. At best it will require input from participants and the public that may not fit well if held to the budget or contract approval process. A process to change the resolution will need to begin early enough to be completed in time for revisions to the grant application, directions and forms are done by the end of February. This would help to make the FY 2007-08 grant and budget schedule go better.
Since this is the last year of a three year resolution it may be more advantageous for Council to approve the existing contract and goals for FY 2006-07 and address future changes in the resolution and contract(s) for FY 2007-08.
|Related City Policies:|
Approve Ashland Chamber of Commerce grant contract for signature.
Defer approval awaiting additional information.
Council moves to approve Ashland Chamber of Commerce grant contract for signature.
• Document Submitted by the Chamber at the 9/5 Meeting