Economic, Cultural, Tourism & Sustainability Grants
Citizens Budget Sub-Committee
April 27, 2016
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 East Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Meeting was called to order at 6:02pm
ELECTION OF A CHAIR
To nominate David Runkel to the position of Chair of the Economic, Cultural, Tourism & Sustainability Grants Subcommittee
Tuneberg explained that this meeting outlined as per Res 2015-04 the total appropriated funds available for the 2016-17 ECTS Grants is $225,122 $67,910 is the minimum which can be spent on tourism. Initial briefing was February 18 and it was agreed that the minutes will be seen for approval on the May 12 budget meeting.
Runkel explained that the funds used for the grants are derived from the 9% City Lodging Tax paid by visitors to the City who stay in City accommodation and that a total of $225,122 available and requests totaling $730,144. He went on to outline standards of each of the categories.
- Economic Development. The grant program will support the creation, retention, and expansion of businesses and other ventures that enrich our community by creating goods and services that provide employment opportunities while maintaining and enhancing the overall quality of life. The 2011 Economic Development Strategy provides both policy level and action level guidance for eligible grant application programs and activities.
- Cultural Development. The grant program will support increased diversity of and accessibility to the creative arts and cultural opportunities in Ashland for citizens and visitors and will support the visitor economy, maintain and promote job growth in this sector and enrich the overall quality of life in the community.
- Tourism. As a long standing pillar of Ashland’s economy, tourism programs support programs, activities and events that act similarly to more traditional traded sector activity in that dollars from outside the community are brought in and circulated locally to the benefit of our local businesses.
- Sustainability. The grant program will create and support programs and activities to further support efforts to ensure Ashland is environmentally, economically and socially resilient as a community.
Tuneberg confirmed that there would be 3 minutes allocated for speeches.
PRESENERS AND Q&A’S: In order of receipt of application.
MODERN ROOTS FOUNDATIONS
Presenter: Dee Fretwell - President
- Rosenthal – Asked about Artist Residences and where they are. Ms. Fretwell responded that they are in Ashland and last year they did 6 workshops who bought in artists from around the country.
ASHLAND ART CENTER
Presenter: Dee Perez & Denise Baxter
- Moran asked if personal services in the total $148,200 of is for 4 people. Ms. Perez Responded that personal services encompasses all the teachers and employees and contractors.
- Stromberg asked about income generated for the Art Center by managing grants for other foundations. Ms. Perez responded that they are currently doing this for 3 foundations with a 4th possible and their administration fee for that is 10%
- Runkel asked if the work with the Gallery Association is a co-op. Ms. Perez, explained that it is more of a partnership.
- Gates asked if they had sought funds beyond Ashland. Dee answered they have from Oregon cultural foundation but none from County and they have a pending response from Oregon Community Foundation.
Presenter: Chip Lindsey – Executive Director
- Stromberg asked how long Mr. Lindsey has served as the Executive Director. Mr. Lindsey responded 5 years.
ROGUE VALLEY SYMPHONY ASSOCIATION
Presenter: Martin Mr. Majkut Music Director & Paul Smith Board President
- Lucas asked why it was that they supported education in Phoenix and Talent school districts. Mr. Majkut responded that they chose that district as they have no music education which is fully funded by grants and private support. Paul added that they are involved in Ashland schools in various aspects when needed.
- Stromberg asked if limitation of capacity of the concert hall will be a long term limitation and what solutions are they seeking.Mr. Majkut responded that beyond the possibility of adding concerts, there are long term plans for a larger hall at the University which they are very supportive of.
- Gates asked if they were to add an additional concert, would it be feasible. Mr. Majkut explained that it costs $30,000 to run a concert and 50% of that is from tickets so there is a risk if it didn’t fill a second time. Gates continued and asked if they would still be at a negative even if they sold all the tickets. Mr. Majkut responded yes, it would be more feasible to fill a larger concert hall with one concert.
Presenter: Mike Stringer - Development Director
- Lucas asked about the status of last year’s special use agreement issue and what the length of time that agreement would be for.Mr. Stringer agreed to email the answer to staff.
- Rosenthal asked how many people used the hopper rider this season. Mr. Stringer answered that 20% of capacity of 40 people bus was used. Interns will start using it also and would like to start making more trips. Rosenthal noted that this year’s application seems to be totally different, and asked if Mr. Stringer thought the special use permit question asked by Lucas pertained to this application. Mr. Stringer answered that it does not.
- Runkel asked if they are working with the Chamber of Commerce to encourage tourism. Mr. Stringer answered that Katherine Flanagan who is a new board member and is with the Chamber Visitors Bureau and they have Lift Lodging Partner program who give discounts to the area. Runkel asked if they had numbers to show how well the Ashland Ski Races did. Mr. String responded they do not but they are working on that for the future.
- Lucas asked if the ski race will be held at Ashland every year. Mr. Stringer answered no.
- Moran mentioned he would like to hear an update about how they are trying to utilize the mountain year round. Mr. Stringer pointed out that last year they asked a number of people for investments and got similar answers. He explained that they need more planning and preparation and time.
- Moran asked if there were aspirations to make it a year round resort. Mr. Stringer answered yes, they have been working with forest service partners and are looking at longer term objectives and a broader scope of work.
Presenter: Cathy Dombi and Wolfgang Platzer
- Stromberg asked who AIFF’s competitors are and what niche their niche is. Ms. Dombi responded that Ashland is becoming known as the filmmaker’s festival. Guests are put up privately and their competitors are in Portland, Eastern Oregon, and others scattered areas.
- Moran asked how much in additional tourist dollars does the festival bring in to Ashland. Ms. Dombi answered that they don’t have the resources to track that at the moment, but there is an indication of impact via restaurant sales.
- Rosenthal commented that he was impressed with their surveys and suggested that they ask people how much they spend on their lodging.
- Runkel asked if the 18% indicated accounts for people beyond 50 miles. Ms. Dombi answered yes.
MULTICULTURAL ASSC. OF SOUTHERN OREGON
Not present at that time.
Presenter: Marcella Sciotto
- Gates asked what the size is of KBO in comparison to the Klamath Falls Winter Wings Festival.Ms. Sciotto answered they are a boutique organization with areas difficult to get to and have a smaller group base.
- Rosenthal asked how many people are associated with the festival in terms of the professional personnel. Ms. Sciotto stated that John Alexander makes up 5.4%, her own time is 16.6% in two roles and a full time seasonal employee makes up 50% of the time.
- Rosenthal asked for an explanation of the 4 to 1 return mentioned in the application. Ms. Sciotto explained that they ask how much money is spent by each customer both electronically and roaming and they use various questions including if they brought people with them and how much they spent and believes they have put $135k back in the economy over the last 2 years.
- Stromberg asked about the $20k dedicated to tourism and if they only received that, would they be able to utilize it? Ms. Sciotto explained that they do scaled planning and are completely dependent on grants, so we expand as we go.
Presenter: Sheila Foster Carter & Donna Nickley
- Moran asked if you didn’t get the youth training portion, would they still be able to perform the program. Ms. Foster answered, they would have to scale back to 10 youth from 20.
- Gates asked what the status was of the Jackson County funds and other state and federal. Ms. Foster said she believes they are all secured so far.
- Gates asked what the outcome of grads has been. Ms. Foster said they are trying to develop an alumni so that they can keep track and that a lot of the kids come back and tell us they are going into natural resources. She said that one went into media and is orienting her journalism and media career into natural resources.
- Runkel asked if this is this the first hike. Ms. Foster said they would like to make it an annual event and would like to advertise on JPR and promote through social media.
Returned to MULTICULTURAL ASSC. OF SOUTHERN OREGON
Presenter: Connie Saldana – O’Neal Latimore
- Rosenthal asked if they could quantify their listener bas and do they participate in the Neilson study? Ms. Saldana said no.
- Rosenthal asked if the signal is only heard in Ashland. Ms. Saldana said they can now reach all of Jackson county and are getting ready to install to help reach further.
- Gates asked if they are asking Oregon Community Radio Organization for help and if so, what. Ms. Saldana said that 6 stations have agreed to be a part of a program reporting monthly happenings in Ashland as well as longer pieces which feature OSF, Science Works, theaters etc. and will be aired as features also. They will also have national speaker coming for the statewide meeting and this could attract small tourism impact.
- Runkel referred to a question on page 5 of the application and noted that some numbers need to be adjusted to reflect the correct total.
- Stromberg asked if they plan on broadcasting for HEARTH. Ms. Saldana said maybe at some point.
Presenter: Jeanne Renaux
- Moran asked if they just exist within the school and are they looking at partnerships with others like Science Works. Ms. Renaux said yes they are looking into that but for now are focused on the schools.
- Gates asked about the expansion referred to in the application and if the school district is working with you for good rental rates. Ms. Renaux answered that she would approach that once they are set up with them.
- Gates asked if they can you anticipate how many more students this will facilitate. Ms. Renaux said they are looking at expanding a program in White City and hoping that people will come to us through outreach.
SOUTHERN OREGON REPERTORY SINGERS
Presenter: Luna Blitza & Don Fenn
- Rosenthal mentioned the state of the art website referred to in the application and asked what $2k will buy them. Ms. Blitza explained that they are hoping to be able to place music on the website so that people can hear what the music sounds like before they come but they have yet to find out exactly what that will buy.
- Moran asked for a differentiation between revenue streams and other funds. Ms. Blitza explained that it is a combination of grants donations and sponsorships.
- Gates asked what the level of participation is. Mr. Fenn said they have added 2 concerts in Ashland 4 times a year and the Sunday is sold out, Saturday is usually full but 20% of seats are low payers.
Presenter: Scott Malbaurn
- Stromberg asked how long has Mr. Malbaurn been employed. Mr. Malbaurn answered since July 1st 2015.
- Stromberg asked Mr. Malbaurn to explain the philosophy now being utilized. Mr. Malbaurn explained that he strives to inform the others that their doors are open for conversation and collaboration and hopes that other organizations will be more transparent in communication with them and that using this philosophy resulted in having an artist’s work installed in line with AIFF.
CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERTS
Presenter: Marilyn Anderson
- Stromberg asked if recipients of free shows respond to the level of music provided. Ms. Anderson said they do and that they work with the Oregon Trail card as well as teachers and students.
Presenter: Rosetta Ms. Shaw
- Gates asked what success have they have had with the accelerator programs. Ms. Shaw said that last year they raised over $5k in follow up funding in grants investments and loans. Does a lot of funding sourcing for companies.
- Moran referred to Ms. Shaw’s statement that she is inspired by entrepreneurship and asked why she thinks so many are coming from Ashland. Ms. Shaw said she thinks that Ashland is a great place to start a business and really supportive as a community.
- Moran asked what the most popular field for them. Ms. Shaw answered Agriculture.
Presenter: Graham Sheldon & Ellen Campbell
- Stromberg noted that the number of B&B’s seem to be decreasing but not room nights and asked if they have been affected by Airbnb. Mr. Sheldon said the number of B&B’s have decreased but big hotels have increased, he said that Eco real-estate market have had some play in this but in terms of airbnb the City made the rules even and it hasn’t impacted the tradition B&B industry.
- Gates asked how many rooms are in town. Ms. Ellen responded they are not sure of the number of rooms, but TOT licenses show around 96 businesses everything ranging from hotels to hostel. She said there are about 127 units, for example Ashland Springs Hotel which has 70. She pointed out that B&Bs excel in concierge service and they are trying to amplify that service through the Facebook site and that is what they are requesting funds for.
- Gates asked if they are partnering with anyone who hold events to attract younger crowds. Mr. Sheldon said they are doing media outreach.
- Moran asked if this is something that should be championed more by the chamber. Mr. Sheldon said yes, but we they are trying to make the pie bigger, not ask for a bigger piece of the pie. Ms. Ellen noted that the chambers focus is different and they believe the more voices the better.
ASHLAND GALLERY ASSN
Presenter: Kimberlee Olsen & Sarah Burns
Presenter: Ginny Auer & Anne Lundgren
- Stromberg referred to Ms. Lundgren’s sustainable film making model and asked her to explain this. Ms. Lundgren said they are still growing that model but they work with local crew (80% local) most of the time. They also work with local investors. She said that some films are low budget but we bring in large commercials that bring in large money and use local crews.
- Moran asked what the biggest incentive a town can offer a film maker is. Ms. Lundgren said she believes that small business and support helps and people returning to the town helps and they are trying to produce jobs for university students so they can remain in the town and work.
- Moran asked for an example of an impact any film had. Ms. Lundgren used Wild as an example which brought in over $200k to the Community in 6 weeks. She said that big commercials can bring in $40k to $50k in a few day just in salaries.
Presenter: Tracy Harding
- Gates asked how did they Segway from farm to school to the Siskiyou challenge? Ms. Harding said the Siskiyou challenge was an obvious health partnership.
- Lucas asked if the things that are on the tasting table are just grown in garden. Ms. Harding said that they are purchased at local farms and that they use the gardens more as an outdoor classroom but rarely is the food used as production.
Presenter: Tom Doolittle
- Stromberg asked about the fry family farm facility and asked for more information about what this might do for organic local foods. Mr. Doolittle said that with that addition of the refrigerator hub they can harvest a day earlier and get more food in which will improve and increase produce. He said they are also working with the organic warehouse to reduce the amount of transportation of crops and food coming into the Rogue Valley
- Rosenthal noted that the grant talks about a large percentage for the publication of their brochure and asked what that cost was. Mr. Doolittle said it is 90c (excluding design time and staff outreach) to print and they have had to raise membership fees to help with the cost and they are still working to decrease the cost.
- Rosenthal referred to the $3,800 mentioned for advertising and asked if all 13,000 of the books were distributed. Mr. Doolittle said that last year it was $5,800 and they produced 12,000 books and that they did all go out.
- Lucas noted that staffing is a priority and asked how many full time employees they have. Mr. Doolittle said they have two full time and one part time.
- Runkel asked what their relationship is with the extension service. Mr. Doolittle said they are very closely aligned with Thrive but not formally.
- Gates referred to the $20k requested and asked if they are asking for other help. Mr. Doolittle said they are not receiving any other local government funding but they do receive grants in a number of other ways; the USDA and ODA offer grants with match funding. Also receiving funding from the MMT and Cow Creek, specifically in the wholesale market program.
- Gates asked what the BBB event is and if it is a money maker. Mr. Doolittle said it is their single fundraising even which is June 4th and it is the Bluegrass, Brews & BBQ fundraiser and yes it does make money.
Presenter: Sue Crader
- Gates asked if there are other Inns like this. Ms. Crader said there few others, one in Portland and one in California.
- Gates asked if they have reached out to the other Inns for their success rates. Ms. Crader said they have not, but the program in Portland helped with her policies and said that they are operating at capacity. She explained that ASH are in a different smaller area so we have a broader clientele.
- Rosenthal asked what capacity they operate at and how many people were served this year. Ms. Crader said that they operated 24 weekend’s with a capacity of 5 per weekend and they would like to increase to 35 weekends.
- Rosenthal asked if this is a B&B. Ms. Crader said we consider it that but they cater to special market and to a clientele who have a harder time finding acceptable accommodation.
- Runkel asked what business license they hold. Ms. Crader said a nonprofit city business license.
- Moran asked why she thinks she will be successful this year. Ms. Crader said because she asked for right amount of money this year.
ASHLAND NEW PLAYS
Presenter: James Pagliasotti – Judith Rosen
- Stromberg referred to the restructuring that has taken place in the organization and asked how the restructure came about and what it was. Mr. Pagliasotti said that 2 years ago they recruited people specifically to achieve the goals of the organization as well as hired a new Artistic Director. He went on to explain that they are getting attention from the professional theatre community due to the restructure of strategic plan.
Presenter: Sharon Wilson
- < >Moran asked for more explanation about the request for salaries. Mr. Fritzenwallner explained that this is the first grant application he has ever written and that they are brand new and just about to open their doors. He explained that the costs would be based on operationally over a year.
- Rosenthal asked what Flowers of Hope is. Mr. Fritzenwallner said they are now called Peach Productions and are an educational nonprofit organization relating to peace activism which is in alignment with their objectives. He went on to explain that their organization is made up of 16 parts which each offer different services. Mr. Fritzenwallner briefly held up a flow chart of services that they offer. (inaudible)
Presenter: Marni Koopman
- Runkel referred to page 4 and specifically the $15k in the first table and asked if this related to the sustainability section. Ms. Koopman said yes, all of their requests relate to sustainability.
Everyone was reminded that the allocation meeting would follow on May 5, 2016 at 6pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 8.56pm.
May 5, 2016, the meeting re-opened at 6.01pm
Tuneberg discussed the process and asked if anyone needed to disclose any communication with any of the applicants.
Moran asked for clarification about the chamber of commerce allocation. Tuneberg responded that a resolution is made every two years and it is this resolution which decides the amount.
Moran asked what the rational was behind that. Tuneberg said that when the chamber and Ashland Shakespeare Festival used to apply the cost varied a lot and it was determined that it would be easier to allocate 100% in tourism dollars to them.
It was suggested by Runkel that the committee first focus on the lower averages and bring them all to $5000.
Stromberg asked if any members would like to give input to how they would like the process to work.
Gates agreed that it would be good to get the obvious agreed upon allocations out of the way first.
Rosenthal and Lucas agreed.
It was agreed the following smaller average amounts would be raised/lowered to $5,000.
ASHLAND ART CENTER
- MODERN ROOTS FOUNDATIONS
- STORIES ALIVE
- SOUTHERN OREGON REPERTORY SINGERS
- < >YOUTH SYMPHONY
All agreed on the average amount.
Gates noted that he advocated $15,000 for their cultural portion. Rosenthal hesitation increasing the total as they are already close to the maximum allowed and would like to leave this for later discussion. Moran agreed. It was agreed to take Scienceworks total to $15000 and it was agreed to revisit this.
Stromberg gave recognition to Lomakatsi and explained some of the things that they do. It was agreed that $5000 more would be added to the bottom line of Lomakatsi, making $3,000 in sustainability and $15,000 in eco development. Rosenthal believes it is important for considerations to be based on the application itself and doesn't believe that and increase is warranted based on what was asked for in their application. Gates agreed with Rosenthal
To adjust Economic Development portion to $9,833 with $1,000 in tourism and $4,333 in sustainability for a total of $15,166
ROGUE VALLEY SYMPHONY ASSOCIATION
Agreed to total of $6,500.
MT ASHLAND ASSSOCIATION
Rosenthal suggested that their funds be allocate $2,000 to Economic Development, $3,000 to sustainability and $1,667 to tourism. Sustainability. All agreed to total of $6,667.
It was agreed to move $1,000 out of sustainability category and place into tourism bringing the totals to $4,000 eco $10,000 cultural and $12,000 tourism for a total of $26,000.
MULTICULTURAL ASSC. OF SOUTHERN OREGON
The average was $2,033 and it was agreed to dismiss this application as it was too far from the minimum requirement of $5,000.
KLAMATH BIRD OBSERVATORY
All agreed to total of $14,485.
Rosenthal suggested allocating $4,000 eco $1,000 sustainability for a total of $5,000.
SOUTHERN OREGON REPERTORY SINGERS
All agreed to $5,000 in cultural development category.
SCHNEIDER MUSEUM OF ART
All agreed to $5,000 in cultural development category.
CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERTS
Gates suggested raising the average in the cultural category to $5,000 and come back and see if they need to be cut later.
All agreed to put $11,333 to economic development.
Agreed to $2,000 in economic development and $6,833 tourism.
ASHLAND GALLERY ASSN
All agreed to move the sustainability average to cultural development and make the total $5,500.
Gates proposed a reduction from the average, stating he was looking for a stronger economical argument. It was agreed to allocate $14,000 all in economic development.
Stromberg pointed out that this organization frequently only ask for what they need and would like to see them receive the $3000 in tourism and $9000 in sustainability.
It was agreed to allocate $17,333.
It was agreed to grant the minimum of $5000 in tourism.
ASHLAND NEW PLAYS
It was agreed to a total allocation of $5,850.
It was agreed to allocate $5000.
Rosenthal recommended not awarding funds to GEOS because he believes this is premature in its process and that the amount they require isn't enough for what they want. He believes that the small amount requested wouldn't really have an affect on their overall plan. Morris agreed as there was some conflict with parts of their application. Stromberg agreed also and stated that he believes this should go through the normal RFP process. It was agreed to nothing.
Tuneberg asked for clarification on Scienceworks total and suggested $16,000 in tourism and $15,000 in cultural for a total of $31,000. Gates suggested $10,000 and $20,000 and it was agreed upon unanimously.
Tuneberg pointed out that they were $213 dollars over the amount allowed and it was agreed that the amount should be cut from Scienceworks from their cultural allocation bringing their total allocation to $29,788.
To forward the tentative allocations to the full budget committee for ratification at the May 12th 2016 Budget meeting.
Thanks given to staff and applicants.
Meeting adjourned at 7:41pm