Bed Tax Funds Distributed

MAYVILLE – More than $45,000 has been awarded to various organizations as distribution of the county’s 3 percent occupancy tax.

Seven of the nine organizations that applied to receive funds received them, according to Andrew Nixon, Chautauqua County Visitor’s Bureau director. Nixon presented information about the occupancy tax distribution to the planning and economic development committee Wednesday.

Of the nine organizations that applied, one organization was deemed ineligible, as it had already reached the maximum amount of times it could apply. Another organization voluntarily withdrew its application.

Receiving money were the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which received $10,000; Jazz at Chautauqua, receiving $4,500; Festivals at Fredonia, event series, receiving $6,400; Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival, receiving $10,000; Scandinavia Folk Festival, receiving $3,000; Village of Celoron Waterfront Revitalization Plan, receiving $10,000; and the Portland Bicentennial Celebration, receiving $2,000.

The funding was passed unanimously.

Additionally at Wednesday’s planning and economic development committee meeting, the committee discussed amending a resolution which allots 2 percent occupancy tax revenue to lakes and waterways.

The change to the resolution, which was at the request of Fred Croscut, R-Sherman, and Vince Horrigan, R-Bemus Point, calls to no longer include language which requires an annual emergency contingency fund supported by $40,000 of the occupancy tax. The legislators proposed allowing the money to be used up front, instead of keeping it in an emergency fund.

“To withhold money in an emergency fund and then dole it out, to me, is extremely inefficient and we as legislators are not in the position to know what the emergency is,” Horrigan said. “My idea would be, let’s up front (Chautauqua Lake Association) the $90,000 total, so they can plan, deploy and get the situation with Chautauqua Lake as much under control as possible.”

The committee also unanimously approved the amendment to the resolution. Both resolutions will go in front of the full legislature Wednesday.