PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County commissioners approved $494,343 in lodging tax funds to a number of local organizations including the Jefferson County Historical Society, Centrum, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and the Chimacum Farmers Market.
The commissioners approved the recommendations from the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, which fully funded the grant requests from all 11 organizations that requested funding for 2018.
The total request from all 11 organizations was $494,343, compared to the $445,000 allocated last year. The commissioners also approved $11,260 for contingency funds and to pay the administrative costs of administering the funds.
That brings the total budget for the 2018 lodging tax funds to $505,603.
$3,018 was rolled over from the 2016-2017 budget, which had $34,343 in excess. The remaining funds will be rolled over into the excess funds balance for next year.
The Tourism Coordinating Council had the highest allocation of $150,000 and the Olympic Peninsula Gateway Visitor Center was allocated the second highest amount of $66,700 for 2018.
The Jefferson County Historical Society and North Hood Canal Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center were both allocated just over $60,000 for the coming year.
The Forks Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center was allocated $38,445, Jefferson County Parks and Recreation campgrounds got $41,625, the Chimacum Farmers Market received $4,205, and the Washington State University extension Farm Tour got $10,000 — twice what was budgeted for last year.
Centrum also received $20,000 in funding, which was lower than the $30,000 requested. The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce received $19,468 and the Quilcene Historical Museum was allocated $23,610.
Lodging tax funds go toward supporting local nonprofits, generally those that support local tourism and historic preservation across Jefferson County.
Funds are distributed every year in November based on recommendations by an advisory board, but all allocations must be approved by the county commissioners.
On Monday county commissioners unanimously approved the allocations for 2018.
Organizations are required to apply for the funds, however in 2018 there were fewer applications.
In 2017, the Olympic Discovery Trail and the Quilcene Fair and Parade were given funds through the lodging tax, but they were not on the list of recipients for 2018.
However, the 2017 budget had $34,343 of unallocated or rollover funds.