The St Johns County Tourist Development Council, in its October 21st meeting, instructed St Johns Cultural Council executive director, Andy Witt, to establish a revised set of funding policies and a revised panel review process to be implemented with the 2015 Fiscal Year.
Glenn Hastings, who is the director of the county’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage department, has received more than a little criticism, increasing in the past two years, over the methods used to apportion the millions of dollars generated in St Johns County from the local option “bed” tax.
“The meeting and discussion session is open to all interested parties, organizations, individuals and businesses, involved in the cultural tourism industry in St Johns County,” Cultural Council staff reported. “All current and potential funding program applicants are welcome and encouraged to attend.”
The program priorities and panel review process employed this year by the St Johns County Arts, Culture, and Heritage department, with paid support, contracted from the Cultural Council, brought a barrage of complaints and accusations; and, the clamor of some local not-for-profit organizations who feel they were subjectively cut out of bed tax money that they have traditionally received.
Items reportedly being addressed on November 14th include:
• Florida Statutes 125.0104, tourism promotion uses, and eligible expenditures
• TDC priorities to increase overnight stays and generate tourist expenditures
• Eligibility and categories for funding program support
• Funding Panel review process
If you are planning to attend, the meeting will be held on Thursday November 14, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the Limelight Theatre; located at 11 Old Mission Avenue in St Augustine.